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The Lunatic's Curse (Tales From The Sinister City, #4)
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The Lunatic's Curse (Tales From The Sinister City #4)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  263 ratings  ·  45 reviews
The town of Opum Oppidulum is home to the freezing Lake Beluarum and its rumored monster. On an island at the center of the lake is an asylum; no one has ever escaped it. So how will Rex, whose father, Ambrose Grammaticus, has been imprisoned there under false pretenses, prove that Ambrose is not insane? And if Rex can free his father, will his evil stepmother drive them b ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Feiwel & Friends (first published January 1st 2010)
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I love the Tales from the Sinister Series. That being said this one was probably my least favorite out of the four. While it still has the creepy mysterious factor that I have come to love and expect from the series, I wasn't as invested in this story as the others. I think it is still worth reading though!
Darker/grosser/more disturbing than any of the companion books. Be warned, this book involves cannibalism, dangerous escapees from an insane asylum, murder and murderers, and a number of other things to turn your stomach. Oh yes, and it doesn't even have a happy ending. Now that you are warned, feel free to enjoy. It is not as gruesome as Rick Yancey's Monstrumologist series, but there were times when it felt highly similar to some of Will Henry's adventures. Not for the faint of heart, and defi ...more
This will be my final installment of the Sinister City Series. It was too yucky for me. The book had no redeeming qualities, just lots of gross out factor. The Lunatics Curse might have appeal for preteen boys looking for a weird/gross factor, but it has pushed me away from the series, which I used to enjoy. Gone is the character development and descriptive setting, and in their place I again receive a dark and spooky house with an evil woman running the show - This is a repeat of The Eyeball Co ...more
I read the 'Black Book of Secrets', Book 1 in this set years ago for a Book Day at work and really enjoyed it, as the other books have come out I have bought them but never actually got round to reading them, so when I was looking for something to listen to in my car- I always like to have an audiobook for when I'm driving round as the radio is so annoying most of the time, I saw this on the shelf and thought why not! It saves me time actually reading it as my TBR pile is so huge.

We follow the s
Flora Bateman
I love the Tales from the Sinister City. However, this is a bit much for the age group it was written for. Reminiscent of RL Stein or Ray Bradbury, this read is a dark and creepy. It contains elements of horror that children may not understand such as cannibalism.

The Lunatic's Curse involves the mystery of the madness and death of the famous inventor Grammaticus. The creepiness level is increased by setting the story at the local lunatic asylum. Murder and mystery abounds through this book as R
I was not so impressed with this book because it tried to be really scary but actually wasn't. You have to wait for the real action which isn't until the very end of the story and the story didn't build up the suspense very well because the pace of the story was too slow.
Amirah A Bakar
And so the series goes back to the first book, The Black Book of Secrets.

The book is definitely darker than the previous three, either in plot, themes or even the ending.

Rex Grammaticus is a brilliant young boy whose life was turned upside down by what happened to his father one day. (view spoiler)
Hylary Locsin
Originally posted on my blog: ! Check it out for more reviews!

Twelve-year-old Rex Grammaticus lives a happy life with his father, Ambrose, a renowned inventor in the lakeside town of Oppum Oppidulum. When a mysterious woman, Acantha, seduces Ambrose into marrying her, however, Rex is sure that things are going to take a turn for the worse. Rex’s fears are realized when one fateful evening, his father suddenly suffers from a fit of madness, viciously attackin
Another great story in the F.E. Higgins series that is now dubbed "Tales from the Sinister City". The Lunatic's Curse is a prequel to The Black Book of Secrets whose paraquel is The Bone Magician and whose sequel is The Eyeball Collector.

This tale concerns itself with a boy named Rex Grammaticus, whose father, a successful inventor and engineer, goes mysteriously insane during dinner while his new step-mother sits by idly smirking. Soon his father is committed to the local insane asylum situated
I won this book from a goodreads giveaway and free is always exciting, but this book was a disappointment. For a book that was targeted to young adults this book is all over the place. The author seems to forget whom she is writing for the vocabulary is fine for the most part but there is a fair sprinkling of GRE level vocabulary words (perhaps I only noticed because I was studying for it at the time). While having great confidence in her audiences’ vocabulary she over explains and foreshadows m ...more
I won this book through the First Reads Giveaway.

Let me start by saying that this is an enthralling mystery. Its subtle clues and creepy characters kept the pages turning right to the end. I could have put it down, but really didn't want to!

This book is a "polyquel", being part of a companion series of books by F.E. Higgins, all containing elements or characters from the others in the series. This is the first I have read, and as I was reading it, I found myself wondering which of these characte
Awake at Midnight
Reviewed for: Awake at Midnight

This new “polyquel” of Higgins’ Tales of the Sinister City harbors the wickedest horrors and the greatest potential of the human condition manifested in unforgettable characters. The city itself becomes a player in this complex maze of pseudo-Dickensian atmosphere, along with a bottomless lake, an asylum on a hill, and a labyrinth of subterranean tunnels.

Although mired in oppressive despair, captivating personalities and suspense drive the narrative in a relentless
This is the fourth book in the Tales from the Sinister City; a series of stories featuring different sets of characters. This installment is probably my least favorite of the series, but it is still delightful creepy and disturbing. I love the dark gothic undertone to these books.

Rex lives in the town of Opum Oppidulum which has its own creepy Asylum that is located on an island out on a lake which contains a huge monster. Rex hates his stepmother but adores his inventive father. When his fathe
While I've enjoyed the other books in F.E. Higgins' series, I cannot say the same for The Lunatic's Curse. For better or worse, I just can't bring myself to say anything good about a book this disturbing. While the other books have flirted with the dark side, they've been well-balanced. Equal parts charm, humor, and dark side. The descriptive writing and atmospheric writing have added to all of the above.

The Lunatic's Curse is set in the same strange world, for the most part. But not really. It
The Lunatic’s Curse is a strange little book – part of the ‘Tales from Sinister City’ series by F. E. Higgins (although you don’t have to have read the previous titles to enjoy The Lunatic’s Curse, there are nice little tie-ins), which recount odd tales about the fictional city of Urbs Umida and its peculiar residents in and around the 1800s. It is aimed at older children, but don't be put off as I think all ages will enjoy the delightful offerings: the plot is always very inventive, clever and ...more
I really love FE Higgins' books...although there are many solid new entries in the "Dickensian-horror" genre for middle schoolers. Like the Clockwork Three, Splendors and Glooms, Shane Peacock's young Sherlock Holmes and the Last Apprentice series...this book is an atmospheric tale with a few horrors thrown into the mystery-adventure for good measure. Kids who can tolerate unusual characters, some difficult (invented or antiquated) vocabulary and dark plots will love it. As much as I've grown to ...more
Liked the book. Liked the way the suspense kept building up and how at the end though some questions were answered, not all were and I an definitely going to pick up the other books in the tales from the sinister city series. F E Higgins' mind is a scary and awesome place cause it came up with this book and I'll read more of his books, that's for sure.
Jaime Leroy
Rex knows that his stepmother, Acantha, is no good. But when she and her co-conspirators drive Rex’s father crazy and get him shipped off to the island asylum, Rex knows he must do something. He knows she will soon find a way to get rid of him and claim the family fortune for herself. When Rex sets out to save his father, he uncovers many dark and disturbing secrets about the asylum. There is a fair share of cannibalism, humor, and dark twists.

Though this story is a “polyquel” to her series (in
This book went on a dark and nasty adventure. I'm an adult and enjoyed it. I can't imagine the nightmares this book might give a child though! I feel sad that this is the last tale from the sinister city. But I feel like this book left things open for a future return...
I enjoy reading F.E. Higgins books because they are clean and a bit dark, perfect for youth who don't enjoy the normal paranormal romance or fantasy books. This newest addition has twists and turns as a boy Rex tries to unravel the mystery of his father's insanity and death. I love the idea of "polyquels"; books that exist at the same time. Characters in this book are found in other Higgin's stories. My favorite book is still "The Black Book of Secrets" but all have been entertaining.

Yet another creepy F. E. Higgins book. I love the fact the four stories I've read are all intertwined but each has its own ghastly story, and leave you with that Ah Ha! moment when the characters mesh together.
Rex's father loses his mind and Rex is forced to stay on with his stepmother, Acantha. When he can no longer stand it, the new headmaster of the asylum takes Rex in, back to the island where Rex's father was incarcerated, and provides Rex with a purpose.
With Higgins' usual cast of odd-ball
A fascinating and completely disturbing and disturbed book. I couldn't put it down, but I did glance multiple times at the cover to make sure there hadn't been a mistake putting it in the kid's section.

If you love morbid horror, this is a good book for you, no matter what age you are. I don't know if I'd hand it to just any child, but I know I would have liked it at about the age of 10 or 11, or older. But, then again, I like horror.
I won this book from goodreads

I just loved this book considering I have not read the first 3(which I will add to my wish list)
The book is for pre-teens(11-14).Parent should read the book before to make sure it is approiate for
there children(s). This book had me glued to the pages with all the twist and turns, and surprises, but the auther left some hints to what may happen, and then when something happen you think, okay I understand now. But the ending had me wanting more such a cliff hanger.
Anne-sophie Olsen
By far the best of the four in the series, also the only one I have read in the original language and that might have something to do with it.

I also have a weakness for books with insane-asylums in them and the sinister things that might go on in such a place.

This book is just full of good stuff, lunatics, the asylum, a huge monster, cannibals, a girl who might suffer from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and last but not least mechanical contraptions filled with cogs and wheels.. very stempunkish!
I really like the other books included in this "series" (The Black Book of Secrets, The Bone Magician, The Eyeball Collector) but this one didn't feel up to snuff. One big revelation was too easy to guess and the other big revelation came out of nowhere. I didn't feel the same connection with the characters in this one that I felt with the others. I still really enjoy this universe, but I hope that this isn't a sign of a permanent downward slope in quality.
The Lunatic's Curse was good but not quite as good as the other installments in the Sinister City Series. Rex, is working to find a way to have his released from the insane asylum where he has been falsely imprisoned. This book is as creepy and unsettling as the other books but lacks the charm and wit founds in the other books. I enjoyed this book but it is my least favorite of all four volumes.
I won this in the Good Reads giveaway. I wasn't impressed. I have read other youth books that were better written. As for the subject matter I wouldn't want a 10 to 14 year old reading it. Its only saving grace in my opinion was its imaginative story line. Although it would have probably been better served written for adults.
I enjoy being surprised by a book. I think if I go into every book expecting not to like it I may find I like more books.
This book is a lot like A Series of Unfortunate Events. Very literary and full of asides. It was dark and gruesome. Just the kind of thing to read around Halloween. Lots of violence, no sex, no language.
This is the fourth and, so far, final book in F E Higgins's Tales from the Sinister City series. And, it was not a disappointment!

Leaves me wanting more!

4 STARS for the book

4 STARS for the series as a whole!
I got this book as part of Goodreads giveaway... and found the story very exciting... The flow of the events were fantastic... what a good way to experience reading that thinking every time what will happen next... The was the characters were describe was clear even the setting was flawless...
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F.E. Higgins has been fascinated by the macabre ever since seeing a ghostly apparition as a child. Nowadays Higgins travels the lands that these books describe, collecting strange artifacts and the even stranger stories behind them. When not in pursuit of a story, Higgins may be found in a haunted house in Kent, where a dismembered hand cradles a large diamond on the mantelpiece.
More about F.E. Higgins...

Other Books in the Series

Tales From The Sinister City (4 books)
  • The Black Book of Secrets (Tales From The Sinister City, #1)
  • The Bone Magician (Tales From The Sinister City, #2)
  • The Eyeball Collector (Tales From The Sinister City, #3)

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