Reviews for Curse of the Night Wolf
Booklist Reviews 2008 July #1
Stewart and Riddell, the team behind the popular Edge Chronicles, introduce a new series and hero in this shivery mystery-horror hybrid, the first in the Barnaby Grimes series. Barnaby is a tick-tock lad (a sort of messenger) who is happiest traipsing about his Londonesque city in a manner known as highstacking: "leaping from gutter to gable, pillar to pediment--roof to roof--with the arrogant agility of a courting tomcat." During a jaunt about town on a full moon he runs afoul of a vicious wolflike creature, an encounter that leads him to a suspiciously benevolent doctor administering a special tonic to a select group of poor, infirm, and forgotten wretches. Moody, highly detailed pen-and-ink drawings provide ornamentation throughout, lending a classic Victorian feel to help punctuate the drama. Possessing an easy confidence and quick wit, outfitted with a swordstick and stovepipe hat, and nimble as the wind, Barnaby is an appealing character sure to draw readers back to the next installment, due next spring, of what promises to be a rousing series. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring
Barnaby, a tick-tock lad (or messenger), suspects there is a connection between recent wolf attacks and a local doctor's curative tonic after the doctor's patients start dying. Barnaby investigates and becomes a victim of the doctor's wicked scheme. Riddell's illustrations convey the Victorian setting and show Barnaby's skillful maneuvering of the city's rooftops in this gruesome start to an imaginative new series. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2008 July #2
The latest and best Stewart/Riddell collaboration to date is set in a pseudo-Victorian world of stovepipe hats, gamins and smog. Barnaby Grimes is a tick-tock lad by trade: Need a delivery as fast as possible? Barnaby is more than willing to high-stack it over the tops of the city just to send your message fast enough. One night, a near-miss with a nasty wolf on a roof during the light of the full moon and the mysterious disappearance of his friend Old Benjamin together convince Barnaby to investigate the seedy sections of his city and the even seedier secrets of high society. As a mystery, the book telegraphs its punches too obviously, but as an adventure tale it swoops and soars. The classic horror aspects of this werewolf tale may be a bit dark for younger readers, but for any kid who has enjoyed The Spiderwick Chronicles and their like, Stewart offers high-stepping exploits and derring-do aplenty. From the first gripping sentence onward, Barnaby will be sure to rake in the fans. (Horror. 9-12) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Reviews 2008 December
Gr 5-8--Barnaby Grimes is a tick-tock lad-an all-purpose messenger whose "highstacking" route carries him rapidly over the city's rooftops. He is suspicious when retired coachman Old Benjamin tells him about a miraculous cure offered free by Doctor Cadwallader. Then Benjamin vanishes mysteriously, and that same full-moon night, Barnaby is attacked by a vicious, wolflike animal. After intercepting a tardy message to Benjamin about keeping a now-missed appointment, Barnaby visits the doctor, thinking the man might need a more reliable delivery service, especially since a missed treatment could result in "side effects of the most unfortunate kind." Sure enough, Cadwallader hires Barnaby to take similar notes to other patients, all poor, lonely people who disappear soon after. What is the sinister doctor up to--and what is his relationship with the owner of a fashionable fur salon? The setting resembles Sherlock Holmes's London as seen in a shadowed, slightly warped mirror. There are hansom cabs, high-gabled row houses, and foul rat-infested slums, but mad scientists hold sway and fiendish creatures lurk in odd corners. Eerie, angular black-and-white drawings complement the atmospheric text. Fans of the macabre will enjoy this first entry in a series by the "The Edge Chronicles" (Random) creators.--Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL [Page 139]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.