Monday, 3 May 2010
Review: Demon Strike by Andrew Newbound
Publisher: Chicken House
Released: March 1st, 2010
Grade rating: B/B+
Demons from the Dark Dimension pour through a portal in the wall of Pittingham Manor, the mid-point for an attack on high. They're planning an assault. Into this chaos stumbles 12-year-old ghostbusting psychic Alannah Malarra and burglar Worley Flint. Up until now they've only ever faced tame treasure-hording ghosts, but this is something else. Their only hope is a plucky angel police patrol on a routine earth-monitoring mission. Enter Inspectre Flhi Swift and officers Yell and Gloom...
Demon Strike is a really fun read that I think will appeal to all ages. It's humorous, exciting and fast-paced, and full of characters that I would love to meet!
Alannah and Worley are the coolest 12-year-old ghostbusters I've ever read about. Alannah is headstrong and feisty, whereas Worley is more on the timid and quiet side of things. Don't let that fool you, though, because if he needs to, he can kick some gargoyle ass! New friends Flhi, Yell and Gloom, members of A.N.G.E.L. (Attack-ready Network of Global Evanescent Law-enforcers - clever idea, yes?), are my favourite though, especially Gloom. He's so pessimistic and negative, and always offers his depressing thoughts on things. Gloom and Worley's dialogue kept me laughing constantly, and I hope we'll be seeing a lot more from them in the rest of the series.
Rather than the more popular vampires and werewolves, the baddies in Demon Strike are gargoyles and ghouls. And I don't mean cute little gargoyles, I mean really ugly, nasty ones that would gladly gobble you up whole. It's lucky Alannah and Co. are on the case, or I think earth's population would definitely be significantly smaller. It's so refreshing to read about different supernatural creatures, even if they aren't of the attractive, seductive variety. It's good to have a change! At times I did think the pace of certain chapters got a bit slow, and I found my concentration wandering away. I also didn't connect with the main characters as much as I wanted to, though I still really liked them.
12-year old boys will think they've hit the jackpot when they read Demon Strike, and girls will no doubt appreciate the two strong female characters. Newbound writes in a highly accessible style, and his debut novel is a pleasure to read. I'll definitely be back for the next book!