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The Last Gargoyle

(Goyle, Guardian #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  183 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Fans of Jonathan Auxier's The Night Gardener and Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book will tremble with delight for this haunting tale about a lonely gargoyle who isn't alone at all.

Penhallow is the last of his kind. The stone gargoyle--he'd prefer you call him a grotesque--fearlessly protects his Boston building from the spirits who haunt the night. But even he is
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 9th 2018 by Crown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  183 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Paul Durham
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Here's my biased 5-star review, which you should ignore--just like the mysterious 1 and 2-star reviews that get posted before books are actually written.
C.J. Milbrandt
There aren't many like them. Gargoyles (properly called grotesques) were created to serve as guardians of the people in their buildings. But something wants them gone, and "Goyle" is suddenly the last of his kind in the city.

I can see why reviewers compare this story to Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. Having recently finished Durham's Luck Uglies trilogy, this felt like a short story by comparison. Unique and enjoyable.
✨Gayatri ✨
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. That was rly good. I think i cried at the end.
Kavanand (Reading for Two)
The Last Gargoyle is an entertaining middle grade book with an interesting mythology and a creature that doesn't get much fictional attention, gargoyles. Penhallow is a gargoyle (he prefers to call himself a grotesque) living in Boston. He's one of three remaining gargoyles in the city, and the other two are killed off at the beginning of the book (it's not much of a spoiler when you consider the title). Penhallow soon realizes that the city is facing a terrible threat, and he may the only hope ...more
Jerby  Verderosa
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
For some reason, I really, really struggled to get through this book.

It’s a short little novel, so I will try to keep my review equally succinct.

There’s a lot to love about this book. I’m a big fan of Halloween, especially kid’s Halloween: ghouls and goblins and witches and ghosts, but also a lot of fun and magic. These are the sorts of things that I expect to encounter in a solid kids’ Halloween tale.

In some areas, I feel that this novel succeeds. It definitely relies on a traditionally
A book with an interesting premise however I found Viola and Penhallow's relationship to be weird. Maybe cause the idea of a gargoyle that's over a hundred years old being all okay with a human girl and listening to her for no reason to be odd.
Trevor Ortega
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think that a possible theme is to trust people. I think this because in the book pehallow (the main character) meets a girl and at first he is not sure if he can trust her, but by the end of the book they are best friends.
Heaven Ashlee
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cute in it's own way, and also darker than most MG I've read. (Not saying much since I've read a small percentage of juvenile fiction.) Personally drawn to this because of the subject matter: gargoyles coming to life? Heck yes! Childhood 90's nostalgia for that amazing animated show with the very same thing happened has fueled a need to fill this niche corner of my reader heart.

I thoroughly enjoyed the writing, as it was witty and fast paced, as well as mature. It didn't talk down to its readers
Lyrical Librarian
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was an original story, which can be hard to find in middle grade fantasy. A good mix of humor and horror, I would recommend this to kids who like Riordan, and to fans of the Blackthorn key series by Kevin Sands. The tone is playful, tongue-in-cheek, and a witty sarcasm softens the creepy characters. The villain is spooky for sure, and the hero will win your heart. Meanwhile, you will be transported to Boston where you will learn fascinating things about the city without being pulled from ...more
William Bentrim
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Last Gargoyle by Paul Durham

This is an upper elementary school book. The plot does have some scary stuff that might not be good for the primary years. However if you consider the Grimm fairy tales, this is pretty tame. Goyle is not a gargoyle, he is a grotesque. His task is to protect his wards.
Goyle takes his job very seriously.

The Boneless King comes into play and threatens Goyle’s wards. Goyle is befriended by Viola who can see and hear him even though most mortals can not do either.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a great story! I have seen it compared to Neil Gaiman’s the graveyard book, and it definitely has a similar feel I think. That said, this is an original tale with lots of heart, a memorable hero, and I loved the unique take on gargoyles/grotesques. Boston seems liken perfect setting for this adventure ...more
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good fantasy

This book is about the adventures of a boyish gargoyle named Penhallow. Pen lives in Boston and does his best to protect his section or domain. It is also a story about friendship. Great characters and a good story
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Paul Durham quickly moved to the top of my list of favorite children's writers with his debut novel Luck Uglies. Immediately after reading the first book, I couldn't stop talking about it and recommending it to pretty much anyone who would listen to me. When I found out that 2018 promised a new series from him, I was super excited but a little apprehensive as my expectations were pretty high.

Part of my apprehension was because this series strayed from his original series which was traditional
Penhallow is the last Gargolye in Boston--which is to say he is the last spirit that resides within a Gargoyle. Although his main body is the stone gargoyle you usually see perched on the top of wings, stone wings stretched out, grimace on face, he is able to move around the city in his "wisp" form, which can be a boy or a dog. His main job is to guard the "Wards" in his building, to keep them safe from the sinister Netherkin, ghostly evil spirits who seek to kidnap the souls of children. After ...more
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: age-middlegrade, 2018
Penhallow is a Grotesque - NOT a gargoyle, which are just glorified water spouts. As a Grotesque, he must protect his building from the Netherkin, evil spirits that can harm the living. When his two friends are destroyed, he begins to worry that there is something bigger out there with the power to destroy him. With the help of Viola, a strange girl who can see his wisp form, he investigates one of the families in his building and a mysterious creature called the Boneless King.

I picked this up
Join Penhallow, the last gargoyle, who oversees a small apartment in modern-day Boston, has his world turned upside down, when one of his new wards, Hetty, becomes the target of dark supernatural forces.
Using his ageless strength and nearly parental wisdom, he must do everything he can to protect her, her little brother and mother from the uninvited Bone King and his evil shadowy henchmen and demons! Throw in a mysterious viola-toting urchin girl and an army of spectral like monsters and its
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-books
This book was awesome. I totally fell for the characters, and ended up really caring for the adventure and being invested in the relationships. That ending was fantastic. I wanted so much more, but it ended beautifully.

I can't blame it all on the book, but it does start slow. It took me maybe five days to read the first half, and two days to read the second half. It picked up right in the middle and I couldn't put it down.

Not a thinker. His world doesn't always make sense, and the twists were
Jeana Lawrence
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting new fantasy novel about gargoyles. Penhollow is the last of his kind in Boston after his two gargoyle friends are incinerated by a mysterious creature called the Boneless King. After meeting Viola, a girl who can see his true form, Penhollow begins to investigate the origins of the Boneless King and try to stop him from raising an army of the undead. Penhollow, or Goyle as Viola calls him, is snarky and funny and this is a wonderful new dark fantasy novel for middle grade readers.
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading this on vacation. All I can say is that I so enjoyed being drawn in further and further into Goyle's story that by the end, I just felt a heavy emotion in my innards that happens when you finish a rewarding book. Truth be told, it surprised me. It is a book that is so much more than Jr Fiction yet not quite on the same level as YA... but highly intense, dark, and complex enough for anyone over 10 to enjoy and feel deeply satisfied. READ THIS. You won't be disappointed. And ...more
Hannah Belyea
Sep 19, 2018 rated it liked it
After losing his friends to a surprise attack, Penhallow ends up as the last remaining grotesque of his city, and must team up with a curious young girl named Viola to figure out who is trying to harm the new young family living in his Domain. Durham will gives young readers the chills and creeps with this enjoyable adventure filled with supernatural dangers and enticing mystery. Just what could be trying to wipe out innocent people - and what sort of connection is Penhallow missing?
Feb 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-tangible
Would highly recommend for elementary/middle school readers. It was a fun read with an interesting plot and enjoyable characters. I especially loved how Penhallow would talk back to the reader (though he was often wrong at assuming what my thoughts were, but maybe he would be more accurate with a younger audience than myself, haha). It's also a great stand alone book, I did not know it was part of a series until I saw it listed as Guardian #1 on Goodreads.
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
This is a solid read. Good world-building without getting bogged down unnecessarily, lots of heart, a solid plot. The writing is excellent, with several quotable one-liners as well. Lots of heart, good action scenes. This is well worth a read. Highly recommended, and looking forward to reading more by Paul Durham.
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
A story about the last Gargoyle, sorry Grotesque in all of Boston fighting against the Boneless King. Wonderfully hauntingly while with just enough humor to be an excellent read. You’ll never be able to pass a Gargoyle again without wondering if it’s a Grotesque.
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book! A perfect Halloween read, for a those of us that like a little mystery and suspense. I highly recommend it! It'll probably be my yearly read, just around Halloween.

Put it between The Night Gardener and Sweep:The Story of a Girl and her Monster (Jonathan Auxier).
Randi Kennedy
Enjoyable, with engaging worldbuilding that I hope leads to a series. Parisian grotesques please!
Fantastic story, with just a bit of spooky, deliciously spooky to be more specific.
Autumn Greer
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a really great book, but the ending is a bit sad.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: j, magic
Another winner from the author of my faves The Luck Uglies! Great story, engaging characters.
Sarah Morenon
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Quick read, wonderful middle school or upper elem book. Just my kind of thing!
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Paul Durham was raised in Massachusetts and attended college and law school in Boston. He now lives in New Hampshire with his wife, two daughters, and an enormous, bushy creature the local animal shelter identified as a cat. He writes in an abandoned chicken coop at the edge of a swamp and keeps a tiny porcelain frog in his pocket for good luck.
“My earliest memory is of a crib,
a darkened room, and three shadows
slipping through the doorway
with bad intentions.”
More quotes…