Saturday, 2 April 2011
Review: Bang Goes a Troll by The Beastly Boys
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Released: March 31st, 2011
Grade rating: B/B+
When a messenger bat arrives at the RSPCB, Ulf the werewolf receives news of trouble in the wild. Trolls are being smoked out of their mountain home for use in a beast-hunting range. Can Ulf stop the troll hunt, or will he be hunted too? The future of the RSPCB depends on him...
This is another series for ages 7+ that I really enjoy. It's being republished with excellent new covers, and Bang Goes a Troll is the third book to get such treatment. I think these new covers are much more appealing, especially to children (and 23-year-old fans of all kinds of different beasts!). As I mentioned in my review of the first book, this series is perfect for existing readers of Tommy Donbavand's Scream Street and Marcus Sedgwick's The Raven Mysteries. All are funny and illustrated - yay!
In Bang Goes a Troll, a little messenger bat (aww!) arrives at RSPCB headquarters (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Beasts) carrying an SOS message from a goblin called Gumball. Trolls are in trouble, and are being pursued by mean Baron Marackai and his henchmen Blud and Bone. Dr Fielding and Orson the giant set off to sort it out, and little do they know that werewolf Ulf and Tiana the fairy are hot on their heels. RSPCB search party to the rescue!
I imagine Ulf and Co. to be like the Thunderbirds of the RSPCB. They band together to fight a supervillan, and have exciting adventures in foreign lands in the process. They also meet all kinds of beasts - huge, intimidating trolls, small goblins obsessed with shiny objects, a massive cave mantis and giant spiders (the less said about them the better!). It's like every fantasy creature has collided in one story which, if you're a fan of fantastical creatures, is a very good thing indeed. Think Fablehaven for a younger age group and with a bit more humour and voila, you have the Beastly Business series!
Jonny Duddle illustrates this series, and as you can see from the cover he has a very stylised way of depicting the vast array of characters. Tiana is probably my favourite of his illustrations, as she looks like a good, old-fashioned fairy. I'm quite fond of Gumball too... he's a meddlesome green goblin! I believe the next book to be republished in this series is The Jungle Vampire, which I will obviously have to read. Vampires in the jungle?! Can't wait to see that!