Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Review - The Crowmaster

The Crowmaster. Barry Hutchison (Invisible Fiends)The Crowmaster is the third book in Barry Hutchison's Invisible Fiends series. If you haven't heard of it, you're missing out. We're talking invisible friends, we're talking coming back to murder their children, we're talking all sorts of craziness you'd only find in the find of Hutchison! The previous two books, Mr Mumbles and Raggy Maggie were great for setting the scene of this latest instalment. In short: Kyle is going a bit mad. You would, too, if you were a twelve year old being hunted by murderous things that shouldn't exist!

So, what did you think of the book?
All in all, a great read. The ideas behind it - the crows, the fat-man, the Crowmaster - are all great for a series that has already seen a man who can't talk (but who really packs a punch!) and a girl with a murderous doll, killer teddy bears and a sense of humour to die for. (Pun intended!) What really made this book for me was the expansion on the growing mystery - some insight into a recurring character, some explanation into what's going on and why - and the play on a certain movie.

How did it compare to the other books in the series?
For me, it was less scary. But it was funnier. It was more amusing. Rather than have a creepy little girl or a violently huge man, we had something that was, in its design, scary - a scarecrow. But the Crowmaster is more than that. He's also in charge of an army of crows. Very, very violent crows. So while I wasn't struggling to sleep because of every little noise I heard, I was overly aware of every bird I passed by. Especially the ones that looked at me. And that was only after the first sighting of the crows, before they became entirely messed up!

Who's been your favourite villain so far?
Hmm... that's a tough one. It's a toss up between Raggy Maggie and Caddie, and the Crowmaster. (Sorry Mr Mumbles! Please don't kill me!) The duo from book two had a lot of interesting quirks and a whole load element of the absurd about them. An extremely violent little girl who had toys that hurt you using your own imagination in some cases - like the tea from the tea party! - was just so damn freaky! On the other hand, the Crowmaster was a smart guy. He figured out some little things all by himself. He was also the least human villain so far, which certainly made him a little bit weirder... In the end, I think I have to go with Caddie and her doll. The fear factor certainly plays a big part in that battle.

So what's next?
Well, Barry Hutchison has another book in the series out this August - Doc Mortis. It's said to be his scariest book to  date. I canny wait! He also has a couple of books out in Spring 2012 - The Beast, the fifth book in the Invisible Fiends series, and The Thirteenth Horseman, a standalone novel. About the apocalypse. That's a parody. I mean, I was going to do it myself, but I suppose I can wait a few years to try get my as-yet unwritten book published. In the meantime, one of my favourite authors beat me to it. I can't wait for it!

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