Friday, September 14, 2012

The Wooden Mile (Something Wickedly Weird bk #1) by Chris Mould

This weird, creepy book is going to appeal to some, but I don't think it is going to entice most readers. Stanley Buggles has inherited a house from an unknown relative in Crampton Rock, but the village is not quite right. People scuttle indoors when night falls, lookout towers are sprinkled here and there, and a talking taxidermied fish cautions Stanley against a lady who lives in the water. When Stanley discovers that a werewolf is on the loose he is recruited by pirates to kill it. Unbeknownst to him is that the pirates want the werewolf eliminated so they can ransack Stanley's home that hides a magic amulet hidden by his relative.

The narrator reflects the British author as he describes Stanley as a sensitive little chap and ink drawings made me think of Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell; however, this story is uniquely Chris Mould's. He has some gory descriptions such as the death of Stanley's relative, the pirates messed up body parts, the dogs missing limbs, and the skeleton in the cage. These descriptions add more horror to the story, but it is toned down with the pirates more doofuses than brutal killers, and the death of the werewolf not what it seems.

Stanley doesn't leap off the page as an interesting character. The weirdness of the story is what had me stay with it. Stanley does change from being fearful in the beginning to ingenious or able to solve his problems by the end. Spoiler alert* I don't know how to write about the plot without giving away too much so if you don't want to know what happens then skip to the last paragraph. The plot has some holes that are not explained such as the fish warning about some lady in the water, Stanley concerned about the gun instead of the man/werewolf he just killed, and Mr. Cake working in his shop and miraculously recovered from a bullet to the head. The amulet isn't explained either. The end leaves more questions than answers.

The narrator says in the beginning that this tale is dark and twisted and it is a good description of this story. A fast read if you are looking for something different and slightly ghoulish.

Reading Level 5.5
3 out of 5 Smileys

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