Thursday, July 14, 2011
Takeshita Demons: The Filth Licker by Cristy Burne
Miku is going to School Camp in the forest, with her friend Cait and the rest of her class. It should be fun. But Miku has premonitions of danger, and when Oscar goes down with a festering rash, and a rushing wind blows out the bonfire she's sure something bad is going on. Then Alex finds the frog-like Filth-Licker in the boys' toilets, and all at once Miku, Cait and Alex are on a secret mission to overcome the vengeful Shape-Shifters or Super Demons before it's too late… Later that night, with Alex kidnapped by a pyromaniac fox, and Cait possessed by some angry sickle weasels, it's up to Miku and the Filth-Licker to save them all from disaster.
This is the second instalment of Cristy Burne's series about a young Japanese girl called Miku who has moved to London with her parents.
In the previous book - Takeshita Demons - Miku and her best friend Cait discover that the legends Miku's grandmother told her about demons and creatures from mythical Japanese lore does in fact exist. And that they are only too happy to cause chaos in young Miku's life.
In this, the second book, Miku and Cait are off to Summer Camp. They are good friends but it is odd as Cait seems to not quite remember what's happened to them not so very long ago. Added to this is the peculiar goings on, on their way to the camp, and also, at the camp. Is someone playing a rubbish trick on Miku or is what they are experiencing another attack by supernatural creatures?
The artowrk by Siku is wonderful - it's dotted throughout the novel and enhances Ms. Burne's text, showing us what these creatures Miku and Cait and their newly made friend, Alex has to face. And, as previously in Takeshita Demons, the creatures they face may not always wear a demonic or critter-like face, so once you become used to this, you can't help but wonder who are the bad guys.
The book is slender - giving younger readers the sense that they have read quite a bit - but do not let its slenderness put you off. The story is twisty and turny and told in a great voice and pacey way. I really liked it and think that Ms. Burne's has created a wonderfully feisty character in Miku and that I am happy to read Miku adventures till the cows come home.
The folklore is superbly researched and given a modern twist. I love that we are, without realising it, taught some great bits of mythology and Japanese culture. It never gets preachy and reads very natural. It really is one of my favourite series for younger, confident readers.
As full disclosure, I was asked by Amazon Vine to review this book and as a geeky fan girl, I of course said yes! The review above appeared on Amazon's site several weeks ago now, but I knew I wanted to feature Cristy on the site for #u14so, so I thought I'd re-post my initial review back on the blog and urge you to give it a try. The artwork really is so great and it does compliment the story wonderfully. Do visit back tomorrow as we chat to Cristy Burne about writing the two Takeshita Demon books and Japanese mythology