Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Not Freaky In The Right Way


Published: March 1st, 2013
By: Kieran Larwood
Chicken House
ISBN-13:  9780545474245

Weirdest. Crime Fighters. Ever.

Sheba, the fur-faced Wolfgirl, can sniff out a threat from miles away. Monkeyboy clambers up buildings in the blink of an eye -- then drops deadly stink bombs of his own making (yes, THAT kind)! Sister Moon sees in the dark, and moves at the speed of light. Born with weird abnormalities that make them misfits, these FREAKS spend their nights on public display, trapped in a traveling Victorian sideshow. But during the day, they put their strange talents to use: They solve the most sinister crimes. And in a dank, desperate world of crooks and child-snatchers, they're determined to defend London's most innocent victims: the street urchins disappearing from the city's streets.

     In the book world, this was to me what Hotel Transylvania was in the movie world - a gigantic disappointment.  I went into this book wanting so much for it to be something that I could enjoy, with character development and interesting, fresh plot executions.  That is not what I got.  The main character Sheba is a wolf-girl, longing for a family but who can only remember a life of being passed from one freak show to another - being someone's property.  It is different this time, with her new owner possessing more freaks than Sheba has ever before been in contact with - this time she might be part of a ragtag family.  But with something stealing street children and sinister goings on, can Sheba and the other freaks figure out what's going on and put a stop to it before it's too late?  Also, will Sheba figure out who she really is and where her family went after they left her?  I am not a huge fan of steampunk, which usually makes or breaks a book for me when it's involved in the plot.  This was book that it helped along, but unfortunately it wasn't enough to save it.  The constant throwing of poop by Monkeyboy was a bit much for me as a reader.  Alongside the usage of tried and true villains and predictable twists, this was boring and disgusting.  The only freak that even really caught my attention was Sister Moon, but she was such a stereotypically drawn Asian character that I cringed when she was speaking, or you were learning new things about her.  The eventual revelation of the mechanical monsters stealing the street children was a very 'meh' moment.  Sheba was a cute girl, with a raw deal but as much as I sympathized, she didn't really appeal to me as a character all that much.  I was skimming pages about halfway through, all the way to the end.  This book might appeal to children who are reluctant readers, but ones with any sense of good books will probably not choose this one.  And I definitely don't blame them.  But props to the author for keeping me reading to the end...or maybe that was just because it was a review book.

VERDICT:  1.5/5  Stars

*received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book was published March 1st, 2013.*

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