Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Sammy Feral's Diaries of Weird: Hell Hound Curse by Eleanor Hawken (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E)


August 2013 (hardback out September 2014), Quercus, 256 pages, Paperback, Review copy

Themes: life for half werewolves, living at a zoo, wishing frog, troll, best friends, revelations, bravery, deception, toenail sandwich,

Content: sn*ke & w*rm, terrifying moments, lots of humour

Despite having scary mythological creatures, sn*ke care, a scary 3 headed worm encounter, plus a more sedate one-headed talking w*rm I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Sammy's life because it's so crazy. I love the snippets about the leftover werewolf habits his family has, the unconvincing way he tries to convince his best friend nothing abnormal is going on, and how calm Sammy is in carrying out his plans. He does freak out - who wouldn't with a death curse over him?

 Yet he doesn't let his fear overwhelm him. He always tries to keep those he loves safe - be it from a vengeful hell hound or from depleted resources at the zoo. The ideas he, his family and friends come up with to save the zoo from closure are pretty good. The one thing that constantly gets in Sammy's way is school, but he muddles along without skipping it. The world doesn't end when his best friend finally discovers Sammy's secret life, although Mark becomes more than a little speechless. I seriously hope there's a book 4 involving lost mermaids (mentioned at the end of book 3) because they sound ditzy and highly entertaining, just like the troll who wasn't ditsy but hungry for bones.

Find out more about Sammy on Eleanor's website.

Suggested read
Be sure to read where Sammy's adventures started in Sammy Feral's Diaries of Weird (Children's, 8 years +, 10E/10E) 

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