Takeshita Demons, the first book in this series, was one of the most original books I read last year. Not only was it brilliantly written and packed full of fascinating Japanese mythology, it was genuinely spooky! So you can imagine how eager I’ve been to review the sequel, The Filth Licker, and I’m pleased to say that this series is just getting better and better.
The Filth Licker is packed full of even more Japanese demons, some helpful, some decidedly less so, and I loved the way the unfamiliar names and quirks of the monsters are slipped into the story without it ever feeling like a mythology lesson. I actually walked away from this feeling like I’d learnt something, while also being highly entertained, which to me means that Cristy Burne has done the impossible.
I also loved seeing the relationships grow between the characters. In the last book, Cait had been a true friend to Miku, fighting demons by her side. But now she seems more interested in how many pairs of jeans to pack, and pretends to have no memory of their demon-fighting days. To everyone’s surprise, Miku’s real ally turns out to be Alex, her annoying bully, who knows a lot more about Japanese demons than he’s been letting on. The exchanges between them really makes you grow to love these characters , and there’s one scene in particular involving a giant monkey demon, stolen thoughts and spilled secrets that had me laughing out loud.
There’s a scene where Miku tells the tale of the Hyaku Monogatari, the Hundred Tales ceremony which summons a malevolent force, and somebody commends her on it by telling her it was, ‘Clean, no gore, and very spooky.’ I feel like the Takeshita Demons series is a lot like that – one of the rare horror stories that you can safely hand to younger readers without fear of threats from angry parents, but at the same time is genuinely packed full of spooky stuff. This is a series that is both highly original and wonderfully entertaining, and I can’t wait for the release of book three, Monster Matsuri in June next year.(less)
Dearly Departed, We are gathered here today to discuss Slither’s Tale, by Joseph Delaney. This la...moreThis review first appeared on spinechills.blogspot.com
Dearly Departed, We are gathered here today to discuss Slither’s Tale, by Joseph Delaney. This latest in the ever-expanding series has just cemented the Wardstone Chronicles as my favourite horror books. As much as I love reading the journey of Tom, the Spook and Alice to destroy the Fiend once and for all, this new tale of a haizda mage has really breathed new life into the series. Delaney has created such a rich dark fantasy world that it’s really rewarding to view it from another character’s point of view.
And what a character! I love a good anti-hero, and Slither is definitely not a servant of the light. I really enjoyed seeing the growth of this character as the book progressed, especially later on as another familiar favourite character is introduced. For those wanting to break into the Spook’s series, Slither could be a good place to start. It will help give you a feel for the world without having to know much about the rest of the story (although some of the revelations in this might act as spoilers for earlier books, should you go back and read them).(less)