Wednesday, June 29, 2011
June British Book Challenge 2011: The Demon Collector by Jon Mayhew
Author: Jon Mayhew
Published: Bloomsbury, 2011
Synopsis: Edgy Taylor sees demons when nobody else can. Edgy thinks he is insane and expects to be carried off any minute. He is a prime collector, wandering the streets of London collecting dog muck for the tannery. The only thing Edgy is good at is setting and solving riddles, and evading his brutal and abusive master. One night, when his master seems genuinely intent on killing Edgy, Professor Envry Janus intervenes. Envry takes him to the Royal Society of Daemonologie where Edgy will now live. It is here, though, that Edgy discovers chance had nothing to do with their meeting, and that instead he holds the key to a deadly demon prophecy.
From Bloomsbury Website
Star parts: The book starts right in the thick of the action with a chase, an accident and a death, just the way I like it. And I think what I really liked about Edgy is that he was a boy. OK, obviously he's a boy, but what I mean is he thinks like a boy, he acts like a boy, his personal thoughts are boyish. He's even a bit of a geeky boy, he knows the answer to all those riddles and heaven knows I have no patience for that kind of thing, so in the end Edgy comes across as a really authentic boy. Oh and Edgy has a dog called Henry and I really liked that little touch, although the bath scene did have me going: Eugh!
This book is set in an older, darker London. The Royal Society of Daemonologie is a little world within our world that Mayhew peoples with a whole host of weird and wonderful characters. Well there's Professor Janus who saves Edgy's bacon. There's Sally, the ghost, who's a little put out that Edgy has taken her room after all these years. There's Spinorix the keeper of the Exhibition Hall and then there's that slippery slithery character in the library that I won't tell you too much about. And of course, there's Salome! She is a nasty piece of work and as we follow Edgy around on his capers we wonder whether Salome will get her evil claws into him and what, what, what does she really want. Well, you'll have to read the book to find out.
Mayhew's world building carries the reader into the time and the mythology of the Demons really well, while still providing plenty of action. And it's great that the book is dark (well we're talking about devils and demons here) but really funny.
Black clouds: This isn't really a black cloud, I just have to say, because I never got around to reviewing it, that I LOVED MORTLOCK. OK, it's out now.
Do I recommend it: Of course. In fact I've already started recommending it to some of my stronger readers this year. And the front cover alone inspired a whole host of 'scary' stories .
This is the sixth book I've reviewed for the British Book Challenge, which means that I'm halfway through the challenge, although I've already read Firebrand, The Blackhope Enigma, Puddle Goblins and literally just finished The book of dead days for this challenge. Not for the challenge I read Skullduggery Pleasant, so there are some reviews to come yet!