Thursday, April 01, 2010

Demon Strike by Andrew Newbound

Demons from the Dark Dimension pour through a portal in the wall of Pittingham Manor, the mid-point for an attack on high. They’re planning an assault.

Into this chaos stumble 12-year-old ghost-busting psychic Alannah Malarra and burglar Wortley Flint. Up until now they’ve only ever faced tame treasure-hoarding ghosts, but this is something else. Their only hope is a plucky angel police patrol on a routine earth-monitoring mission. Enter Inspectre Flhi Swift and officers Yell and Gloom.

The book also features a fabulous lenticular cover: see the demon strike for yourself!

Demon Strike is filled with fabulous comic characters, including psychic ghost-busting 12-year-old adventurers Allanah Mallara and Wortley Flint, together with rookie A.N.G.E.L police-officers, Flhi Swift and troopers, Yell and Gloom – and some unspeakably villainous demons from the dark-side.

As an aspiring children's author, I genuinely don't need the type of competition that Andy Newbound has levelled at the younger age range of readers! How will I ever become famous?

Oh, wait, I'm supposed to review this one, not complain! Right. Gotit.

DemonStrike is one of those rarities that comes along that ticks the funny-bones boxes. Laugh out loud amusing (ever thought hyenas can't be funny?) and completely over the top and silly, I loved DemonStrike (quietly pushes Andy in front of a bus) enough to enter into various email chats with Andy about it. The interview is lined up for tomorrow, so come back to see MFB chat with him...or if you're not that keen, come check out his psycic dog, Charlie.

But, back to the review. Aimed solidly at a market that's been sorely neglected by writers, DemonStrike falls into a very clever market: probably more aimed for boys, there is action, adventure, gadgets, things that slime and dribble and drool, a girl that has something akin to superpowers and nasty bad guys. It's a shopping list of stuff we like to see here on MFB.

He cleverly involves us in the lives of three main characters, that of Alannah Malara, her thief side-kick Wortley and then also, from another perspective, the talented and gutsy Flhi Swift, a police officer from the A.N.G.E.L. team (Attack-ready Network of Global Evanescent Law-enforcers). Flhi has her two troopers Yell and Gloom to back her up on her missions.

And I say cleverly, because the story has so much going on, that you really do need the multiple perspectives. Flhi obviously has to stop the bad things from coming through into our world so her motivations are pretty straight forward. Alannah on the other hand is the one I started out feeling worried about. I found her rude, a bit brash and unpleasant. Also, she seemed very focussed on destroying ghosts, but only after finding out where their treasure was hidden...this worried me as I thought it would be the sole reason for her being in here but I am relieved to say Mr. Newbound managed to turn Alannah into someone much more likeable after a few chapters in because you come to understand her motivation and it's not necessarily what you think it may be. Wortley the thief is just vastly sweet and his constant bickering with Alannah leads to a variety of giggle moments.

The team spirit is evident between both Alannah and Wortley as well as between Flhi and her two troopers Yell and Gloom and I liked this tremendously. We have strong leaders, who lead by example, but they also inspire confidence and loyalty in those they lead. Importantly, we have to strong female leads who can kick butt, chew gum, and still retain their clever attitude.

The story moves rapidly forward and Mr. Newbound shows a dab hand at writing action and uhm, gooey scenes. Ably supported by a walk-on cast of other characters, Demon Strike definitely promises to be the start of a series that may give Messers. Shan and Landy pause for concern.

DemonStrike is definitely aimed at the younger folk and I'm sure it will find favour with both boys and girls - boys for the action and gorey bits, girls for the tomboy heroines who stand up for themselves. Also, the cover is just ace! And yes, I know I'm fickle!

Pop along to Andy's pretty cool website here. Demon Strike is published by Chicken House and is available to buy online and should be in all good book stores.

1 comment:

Yunaleska said...

This one has caught my interest!