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An Adult Perspective,
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This review is from: The Darkest Corners (Invisible Fiends, Book 6) (Paperback)
Ever since Harry Potter it's seemed to be ok for adults to read kids books (thank you J.K. Rowling!) and I have rediscovered my love of children's literature. As a child myself I read the Chronicles of Narnia, The Secret Seven and Swallows and Amazons, but as I grew up it was expected that my reading matter evolve too.
Thankfully, I never fully bowed to peer or social pressure and re-read the Narnia books and Charlotte's Web once a year into my adult life.
Then Harry Potter happened. Ever since my books shelves have contentedly held the novels of J.K. Rowling, Garth Nix, Michael Buckley and Rick Riordan alongside the works of James Patterson, Kathy Reichs, Dan Brown, Matthew Reilly, Anne McCaffrey, Dean Koontz and Stephen King.
There is something so wonderful about reading a novel aimed at children. There's a magical quality sorely lacking in adult works of fiction. A sense of wonder and awe. It's utterly magical.
So, in my mid-forties I became a collector of children's fiction. I am proud to own the adventures of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter on in the same collection as Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy.
Then, while browsing in a bargain book store I came across Mr. Mumbles by Barry Hutchison. It was £2, so I bought it.
I have a lot of books waiting to be read, so it sat on my shelf for many months before I finally decided to read it. A few hours later I was done - and a few minutes after that I was on Amazon ordering Raggy Maggie and The Crowmaster.
I can honestly say that this series of books are among the best I have read in recent years. I love horror and these are exactly the kind of books I would have loved when I was a kid. They're full of excitement and action but they're also scary as hell. Some scenes I'm surprised got past the editors as being suitable for children (although I'm very thankful they did!). The main protagonist, Kyle, is a wonderful creation and Barry Hutchison should be very proud of himself. Kyle is resourceful, inventive, flawed, couragous but, ultimately, just a kid and he goes through some of the most horrific events every put onto paper in a children's novel.
This novel, The Darkest Corners, is the final book in the Invisible Fiends series and pulls everything from the previous five novels neatly together. There are a few moments of predictability; but these are vastly outnumbered by the number of surprises. I read the book in one sitting and honestly wanted to read the entire series again once I finished.
If I had one complaint it would be this: I wanted this book to be longer. I would have liked an 'epic' novel to finish the series; something in the region of 400-600 pages. Nonetheless, the 280 pages here are so well written and fast-paced there is little to complain about.
If you've read the other books in this series, then this book is sure to please you. If you've never read these books I strongly suggest you do.
Barry Hutchison is definitely THE children's author to watch from now on!