is money. Tick-tock - the ticking
of the clock..."
Barnaby Grimes is what they call a
tick-tock lad. He's a messenger boy working
in a jumbled Victorian city that's
inhabited by an extrordinary range of twisted
Dickensian characters. High Society
and Low Society rub shoulders midst
the tangled streets, whilst Barnaby passes
back and forth across the rooftops to
his various destinations...
But now young Barnaby has a mystery on
his hands. His friend Old Benjamin
has disappeared. And he's not the first. And
today's delivery has brought Barnaby
into contact with a huge, slavering Nightwolf.
Is there a connection somewhere?
And might it have something to do
with his latest employer...?
of the Nightwolf" is the first in an ongoing series for our
hero. Sequels include Return
of the Emerald Skull
of the Dead...
What we have here is the first
volume in a dynamic new series from the
partnership of Paul Stewart and Chris
Riddell. And it's pretty much what
we'd expect from the creators
of Edge Chronicles, and those fabulous
Far-Flung Adventures. That is
to say, we are presented with a fully
rendered new world and a host
of crazed inhabitants, described both
in words and pictures. Only
this time, our co-creators have added a
pinch of horror to their fantastic
first fleet-footed adventure leads us over
the rooftops of a
twisted city which resembles Olde
London, by way of Gormenghast.
En route, we meet a slew of
Dickensian characters from all walks of
life - gutterfolks and society
gents, streethawkers and businessmen
with togue-twisting names. And
even as our story unfolds, so Barnaby
makes reference to any number
of previous encounters and escapades
with the city's populance. He's
a well-travelled fellow indeed, and the
menagerie of characters around him
is mouthwatering. And of course,
the city and its crazed individuals
are given extra dimension by way
of those magnificent illustrations,
scattered throughout the story.
There's blood and guts here
too, with some surprising gore as the
story hits its stride...
As it happens, the story reaches
its howling climax a little too
quickly for this reader. But
the story comes full circle very adeptly,
And frankly, it's that presentation
that really wins us over. "Curse of
the Nightwolf" sports a dark,
weathered dustjacket, and a sepia map
of the city spills across the endpapers.
As well as the expected
full-page illustrations, there
are a tidy smattering of silhouettes to
be found - an arching Nightwolf;
Barnaby tick-tocking along,
Scaldy Sal meeting her maker...
Yes indeed, the presentation is
as flawless as ever. And we're
happy to highstack across the rooftops
wherever Barnaby wishes to take us...
There were 5000 double-signed
first editions available, when the book first
launched. And in addition, the
fine folks at Waterstone's presented us
with a limited edition set of promo
postcards, bundled up with their
dual-signed editions. The postcards
reproduced some of Chris Riddell's
key art from the book...
Though it's not really the done
thing, the Gnome can't resist showing you the
UK proof edition, sent out to
reviewers in advance of publication. It included
a softback edition of the book,
with a silhouetted cover, presented in a rather
Grimes: Curse of the Nightwolf
UK Hardback edition...
Grimes: Curse of the Nightwolf
UK Paperback edition...
Stewart & Chris Riddell
The author and artist's official web
site, with mini-sites
for all their creations...
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