Timely reissue of the classic fantasy trilogy by Robin Jarvis, following on from the landmark publication of DANCING JAX, his first novel in a decade.
Dare to enter the Wyrd Museum, where fantasy meets the seriously sinister…
In a grimy alley in the East End of London stands the Wyrd Museum, cared for by the strange Webster sisters – and scene of even stranger events…
Wandering through the museum, Neil Chapman, son of the new caretaker, discovers it is a sinister place crammed with secrets both dark and deadly. Forced to journey back to the past, he finds himself pitted against an ancient and terrifying evil, something which is growing stronger as it feeds on the destruction around it.
Robin Jarvis (born May 8, 1963) is a British children's novelist, who writes fantasy novels, often about anthropomorphic rodents and small mammals—especially mice—and Tudor times. A lot of his works are based in London, in and around Deptford and Greenwich where he used to live, or in Whitby.
His first novel—The Dark Portal, featuring the popular Deptford Mice—was the runner up for the Smarties book prize in 1989.
Do not judge this book by the cover or the dull sounding and ill-fitting synopsis! After the first few chapters which fit the synosis nicely, the book takes a much darker (and more exciting, in my opinion) turn. There's time-travel, war, a talking teddy bear and, unfortunately, not many characters left by the end of the book. Despite the very odd-sounding above combination of things, I thought the book was very good and am looking forward to starting the sequel soon.
Another problematic novel from a wildly inconsistent author. (Spoilers)
Firstly, the 'romance' was an offensive literary poster child for 'No means yes'. Twenty chapters can be condensed into 'If I harass this unwilling woman for long enough, she'll fall in love with me out of sheer exhaustion, and then all the kiddie readers will cry because they're being brainwashed that this is real romance.' Are you kidding me? SO MUCH NO.
Secondly, the novel couldn't decide what its actual focus or genre was. Was it a kids adventure/mystery about a boy trapped in WW2? Was it a teenage horror novel about a mad girl and a monster? Or was it a boring kitchen-sink drama about characters I couldn't care less about, and clearly had nothing to do with the overall trilogy arc (...even before they all ended up dead)?
In the end, with basically the entire cast dead, the fact that Neil even goes to WW2 in the first place turns out to be entirely pointless. This is especially infuriating when the first 150 pages consist of boring scene setting within WW2, which at first, I tried desperately to ignore. Worse luck for me, the new kitchen-sink cast stuck around, and all the actual fun stuff (Who are the Wyrd sisters? Why do they have a magic museum? Where do the demons and vortexes come from?) was put on hold until the very last chapter, and instead replaced with a 200 pages of filler. This novel would have been much more rewarding if they'd just got straight to the point - bringing Edie to the present day. At the end, it becomes clear that this is so that she can be promoted to main protagonist, and be the focus of the trilogy arc proper in the following novels -- which sounds a lot more exciting than watching some 1940s W1 group Make Do And Mend for 20 pages.
In short, this series should be a duo-logy, not a trilogy.
It's also very frustrating that the reason for the first vortex randomly appearing and sucking them into WW2 in the first place is never explained. Unless.... vortexes are simply deus ex machina plot devices? *gasp* surely not. ALL of the vortexes are pointless to the main story arc except for the one that brings Edie to the present. So what, once again, is the point of this entire novel?!
Finally, NO five year old talks or acts the way Neil's brother does. I'm sorry, NONE. Jarvis needs to spend some time hanging out with ACTUAL children before he starts writing them all as unrealistically intelligent and slightly demonic Mini-Mes.
Can't believe this is supposedly one of Britain's best loved kids novels of the 90s. It isn't the first Jarvis novel to make me go 'WTF' - attempt to read Dancing Jax at your own peril. He's produced much better; namely, Death Scent.
This was almost a 1 star for me, but the intriguing start to the story kept it at 2. I read this to see if my son would like it, and I can honestly say I would NEVER recommend this to anyone's kid. I was fine with the dark and sinister world of the museum, I thought that was great!! But when you had little punk ass kids torturing a dog to near death (and then the death that followed), well, I started hating this book. I don't like animal torture in adult horror books, so finding this in a book aimed at "middle grade" readers really upset me...and made me glad I read it before handing if off to my kid!! But it wasn't just this. The story started out strong, kind of like The Librarian meets A Night at the Museum, with a bit more horror thrown in (and I love a good horror story!!!). But it fell flat pretty quickly. I really didn't care about any of the characters and the evil entity was pretty cliche. Even when I take away the parts I hated, I still found this "meh" at best.
Wow - if this is fantasy aimed at children, then I want to go back to primary school!
It's the story of Neil, whose father becomes a caretaker at a strange old museum, where three old ladies live amongst some very odd exhibits. He meets a talking bear, gets sucked back in time and ends up fighting the Prince of Demons during the blitz. I don't remember the stories I read as a child having plots like this!
I loved it. It's powerfully written and doesn't pull any punches. It's very dark in places and some quite scary moments - I'm way past the target audience and I had to have a little shudder. The Webster sisters are gloriously horrid and I love the weaving in of the old legends of the three Fates and the tree of life. It had me on the edge of my seat and I couldn't wait to read the next bit. Now to move on to the second book in the trilogy to see what happens next.
I hated this book. I'd give it a lower rating if it wasn't so excellently written. Some of the imagery and events cross from dark into outright horrifying. My problem is that I read The Woven Path at a very young age, so the multiple murder scenes and awful dog stoning seemed extremely inappropriate for a "children's book" (but I guess it's more of a young adult/teenager novel). I had nightmares for days after reading this; The Woven Path is one of the only books I actually regret reading. That said, Jarvis is a masterful writer, and perhaps older readers can get something out of this depressing novel.
After browsing my bookshelf for about 10 minutes and realising I’ve read everything on the shelves, I picked up the woven path. It was my absolute favourite book when I was about 12 and I’ve kept the whole trilogy ever since for sentimental reasons. I started reading the first few pages while I pondered what to do and before I knew it I’ve read the whole book in a few days.
Still loved it the same as I did when I say 12 except I’d say it was even bleaker, darker and scarier than I remember - either that or I’m just getting soft.
I was spell-bound by this book when I was younger, especially because at the time I was very much interested in World War II and the Blitz. Some of the imagery is still fascinating, such as Ted, who is a teddy bear containing the soul of a dead US Airman, and an escaped demon envisioning itself as the Nazi bug on World War II propaganda.
I loved this book when I firt read it at the age of 14. It's refreshing when a kids book deals with slightly darker subject matter, as this one does. I really liked the story and character development - Ted was great. I think I even shed a few tears at one point.
I was obsessed with Robin Jarvis’ books as a child, and was really excited when this one was released, but I remember getting about a quarter of the way through and giving up. I didn’t like the time travel element and it seemed to be moving too slowly. In the last couple of years, I rediscovered his books with the Dancing Jax and Legacy of Witches series, and I decided it was time to give the Wyrd Museum series another go.
I loved the start of the book, but once Neil and Ted went back in time, I found my interest waning a little. I didn’t particularly like some of the characters and settings, but I stuck with it, and I’m glad I did. After a slow patch towards the middle, the story really picked up and I was reminded of the fear and wonder I used to get reading Robin Jarvis as a child. From the point where Neil goes to the museum in the past, I was hooked, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.
As with most of Jarvis’ books, this has some frightening and gory moments, but they link into an intriguing storyline. I loved the characters of the three sisters, and I’m hoping that they’re more prominent in the rest of the series. While the WW2 setting admittedly doesn’t appeal to my personal tastes, it’s still well worth a read. My previous experience taught me that the second book in Jarvis’ series’ are usually the best, so it’s onto the Raven’s Knot!
So different from what I was expecting. It's actually very dark, violent, and pretty scary. The characters did not turn out how I would have expected, with people being more cruel, unlikeable, or unimpressive than you often find in a children's book. I'm not sure I would've liked it as a child or teen, but I'm also a weenie and can't handle dog deaths; I can imagine some children really liking how different it is from the usual fare, but it might also be too dark for some.
The writing is good, and seemed to have realistic WWII details. The time travel is also well done, mostly consistent with no bootstrapping problems, except for maybe a couple of items but they are magic items.
The first in the Wyrd Museum Triliogy (which is one of my favorite series).
The story is solid and the set up fantastic, as it leads the reader to 2 more exceptional children's books. My only complaint is that the character of Tony is supposed to be from Brooklyn, but reads more as if he is Cockney, but seeing as how the author is English, I can see the issue. However, Robin Jarvis does get the accent correct by the end of the book. Other than that, it's a great read!!
This book surprised me. Looking at the cover and reading the back I thought I could tell I would like the book. Although, it didn't go the way I suspected I still liked it. It had more horror/scary elements then I usually read. When I think about it though it wasn't that there were tons of horror aspects more that the way people died was described more horrifically then I would have expected in a book for younger audiences.
I'm new to this Good Reads, so just adding on a books I remember. And this one has always stuck out in my mind. I must have read this about 17 maybe + years ago. It was one of the strangest books I have ever read. If it stuck out in my mind that much it must have made some impression. Now with a 11 year old daughter, I'm planning on buying it again and read it with her. I will update my rating, when I have a fresh view 😊. Hoping for good things 🤞
Strange book for young adults where almost everyone dies? Neil and his brother Josh move with their dad into a museum. Their dad just got a job with lodgings there. Time travel and mayhem ensues. "Teddy" is possessed by an american soldier from WWII!
In a grimy alley in the East End of London stands the Wyrd Museum, cared for by the strange Webster sisters – and scene of even stranger events.
Wandering through the museum, Neil Chapman, son of the new caretaker, discovers it is a sinister place crammed with secrets both dark and deadly. Forced to journey back to the past, he finds himself pitted against an ancient and terrifying evil, something which is growing stronger as it feeds on the destruction around it…
Dare to enter the chilling and fantastical world of the Wyrd Museum in this first book of a compelling trilogy.
The idea of the museum is interesting, but the execution is repetitive and too similar to Jarvis's previous books. I hate his malicious streak that causes him to let masses of horrible stuff happen before there's finally a glimmer of hope at the end. The Webster sisters are irritating and the idea of the teddy is just silly. Time-travelling to WWII is original, but once again there's Jarvis could really try something else for a change
My first overwhelming impression is that this book is too violent for children. Thankfully it does not seem to have been misrepresented in the market (I saw a quote somewhere stating it wavers between a teen and adult audience, and I agree with that). Nonetheless, the opening chapters were very deceptive: child protagonist upset with his dad for moving, exploring his new home the Wyrd Museum and finding it spooky...this in no way prepared me for an adult book that included brutal murders and dog mutilation. I am all for multiple perspectives of mixed ages, but I believe it should be clear from the start whether or not the adventure is to be child-centered. Having the kids who started the story suddenly shrink into a subplot felt unbalanced. I lost my focus on the kids as anything besides innocents in a bad situation; there was too much adult drama to get into their characters. I enjoyed Angelo's storyline very much, but apart from him, I could have used less adult drama. I give this novel points for its imaginative twists, descriptive powers, and bittersweet ending.
I will admit, I did not finish this book. The story's premise is that a boy goes back in time to WWII London trying to get his younger sibling back. A demon also goes back and is released. The demon increases the level of evil in people. So, when one jealous woman suggests to some young boys to harm a dog of a neighbor, the boys stone the dog nearly to death. The description of the dog at the point he is found still haunts me - he licks his toothless mouth and tries to crawl to the person he knows but not his owner. It is still painful to think about. That person puts him out of his misery by bashing his head in with a rock. After this, I read maybe 3 more pages when the dog owner is killed by the demon. I gave up at this point. I read this in my 30's and found it to be too graphically violent for me. I would never recommend a person read this book.
neil chapman comes to the wyrd museum because his fathher has become the caretaker. The sisters of the museum are quite weird. when he is walking round the museum he discovers a talking teddy. His younger brother also finds the teddy and disappears through a time window and Neil is frightened for him and he jumps through the time window but because of the delay he arrives in wwii. Belial is a monster who they are trying to capture for the museum sisters. Neil has some frightening experiences during his time here. Good book I'm sure children would love to read it.
The 3 rating is meant to be "neutral" as I did not finish this book.
When I picked up the book, I was thinking of a fantasy YA book. In reality, this is a much darker story which is a genre that I never liked. It definitely is YA (but not for the youngest audiences) and it reads well. It kept me reading well past the point I would have normally put down the book, but in the end, my indifference for horror / dark stories made me abandon it in favour of some lighter reading.
If you like dark, haunting, horror stories - this seems like a good one. And it is a trilogy.
This was an engaging fantasy mixing mythology (Norse and Greek) with time travel. The story started a bit slowly, but then picked up when Neal and "Ted" end up in London during the Blitz in 1941. There are spies, demons, and ghosts as well as a spooky museum, home to the Webster sisters (aka, the Fates). I look forward to reading the next book in the series, The Raven's Knot.
This is definatly not one of the best books that I have ever read, but it was not entirely bad. So I can say that I liked it and not be lying. I am not going to tell you that you have to read this book because I believe that I should only say that to the best books that I have ever read. And this was not one of them.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.