Raven Mysteries: Vampires and Volts by Marcus Sedgwick
|Raven Mysteries: Vampires and Volts by Marcus Sedgwick|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: The series reaches book four, with a very funny, vampiric tale, where our beloved raven guide must yet again save the day.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: October 2010|
|Publisher: Orion Children's Books|
It's October at Castle Otherhand. That can only mean one thing - a return to the traditional annual pumpkin hunt. Shame they're so damned elusive. But when, courtesy of a bit of unsubtle arson, a Hallowe'en Ball is redirected to be held at the Castle, and things that do more than go bump in the night gatecrash - why, they're even harder to catch. Unless, of course, you're a wry, arch, droll, antiquated old raven called Edgar.
Once more Edgar, the self-styled (and modest) guardian angel of the Otherhands, narrates a quirky, dark and humorous adventure for the ten and younger audience. Once more there are strong laughs (something I found lacking in the first book), and the story is suitably surprising.
To recap, the Castle is full of oddballs. New to the fold is a musical brother to the Lord Otherhand, booked for entertainment at the Ball. The Lady Minty provides her own entertainment in a very unfortunate manner, but I won't embarrass her by admitting I saw it happen. Once more Solstice the goth daughter is the smart one (relatively speaking), while her brother's monkey is seldom seen, for reasons that soon become evident...
Once again it is the presence of Edgar that makes the book. The series would probably be worth visiting without him, but with his narrative style, his hard life keeping the Otherhands alive (and once more they're getting through housemaids like a dose of salts!), and his indelicate use of the swear word "Futhork!" all combine to make him the standout feature of these books.
This then is a further fine entry to a great franchise. Returning readers will be playing spot-the-recycled-illustration (but as they were so good the first time round, we needn't quibble much), clued-in people will be awaiting the appearance of the catchphrase about sticky monkeys, and anyone will guffaw at the Hallowe'en games played in the singular Castle Otherhand.
But don't worry - a book this good is for life, not just for Hallowe'en.
I must thank the kind people at Orion for my review copy.
This book is on a par with the third in the series.
You can read more book reviews or buy Raven Mysteries: Vampires and Volts by Marcus Sedgwick at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Raven Mysteries: Vampires and Volts by Marcus Sedgwick at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.