I don't think I've ever read a book more suitable for teenage boys than this one (and girls too, of course!). There's blood, guts, gore, continual scares and not an ounce of romance in sight. Don't get me wrong, I like my romance as much as the next girl, but sometimes I like a bit of good old-fashioned horror too. I'm a fan of old school monster movies, and The Crowmaster reminded me of just that. A lot of the thrills and chills were the result of tension building, while numerous deaths provided an ick-factor perfect for readers into action and gruesome ends.
The Crowmaster is the third book in the Invisible Fiends series, and is the first I've read so far. I wondered if I'd be able to follow it without being confused, and I was able to, very easily in fact. Hutchison does reference events previously seen in Mr Mumbles and Raggy Maggie, but he does so by providing a quick explanation too. Because of that I think each book in this series could probably be read as a standalone title, which will surely benefit reluctant readers and those who don't want to have to read a whole series.
Saying that, I'm going to go back and read Mr Mumbles and Raggy Maggie. I want to know what Kyle got up to and where his strange powers originated from. Kyle is one of those characters who doesn't seem to be afraid of much. Even though he's constanstly having to deal with monsters manifesting right in front of him, or family members being found in bloody puddles on the floor, he takes it all in his stride and sets out to save the world from people usually reserved for fictional horror films. At times Kyle's escapes can seem a bit convenient, but maybe time and luck is just on his side.
The Crowmaster isn't short of action or suspense, and it makes for a terrifying, compelling read. I read it straight through with a quick break for sleep, and am now wondering what took me so long to pick up one of these books. A fast-paced plot, memorable characters and smooth writing make it one definitely worth looking out for, but just make sure you don't read it when you're in the house on your own. You never do know what, or who, could be lurking in the shadows...