Thursday, March 27, 2008

The First Rule of Fright Night... you do not talk about Fright Night*.

Well that obviously won't do in a review, but it is a problem for the team behind the 'Fright Night' TV show, as seen in the first book in Steve Rogers' new series of supernatural detective novels aimed at kids.

No-one is watching Uncle Larry's ghostly investigations reality show and with a minimal fx budget which allows only for rubber chickens on string and a rival show dripping cash and cgi goblins and ghoulies, things are looking pretty bleak.

Luckily Larry's twin niece and nephew, Adam and Lana, mistakenly release the ghost of a young boy from the stone circle the TV crew are investigating and from then on in, things start to look, if not always up, at least more promising...

This is a book aimed at seven to nine year olds, so don't expect a pile of snogging and shooting, or many of the other common preoccupations of Young Adult novels.

Instead what you get is a proper creepy kids book, with sufficient weird beasts, scary adults, unsettling ideas and occasional grim humour to keep even the most jaded of primary school children happy (well you know what I mean). It's a good read for that age level, snappily written and successful in avoiding the all too easy trap of talking down to the young readership, with the added bonus of a series of excellent set pieces (we liked the fog spiders best) and a logical and consistent ending (something many adult books could so with emulating).

This is the first in a series of adventures for Lana, Adam and the ghostly Fergus, according to the (slightly disappointing**) book cover. The boy and I will be looking forward to the others.

* That's Fright Night: Shrieking Stones, to give it's full, click to purchase, title
** In that in a book packed with witches, giant spiders and living tapestries, the best the artist scould come up with was a scene of the ghosts flying out of the stone circle.


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Blogger SAF said...

I dunno, I'm sure Steve Rogers must be a mate of yours, but how on earth are you going to draw in a higher class of reader if you go blogging about stuff like that. ;)

11:53 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Well Rogers is a pretty nice guy, so I thought I'd allow one more bit of slumming for the lower classes to enjoy comment on :-)

9:09 am  
Blogger SAF said...


I'm certain he's very appreciative of your nice comments and especially the fact that you enjoyed the fog spiders.

2:02 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

SAF: "the fact that you enjoyed the fog spiders."

Well, they *were* cool.

2:04 pm  

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