The Illmoor Chronicles
The Yowler Foul-up

Author: David Lee Stone
RRP 14.99, US $16.95
ISBN 0 340 87398 1
Available 16 June 2004

A terrible sect has arisen in Illmoor. They're dark, they're deadly and they're even more hell-bent on the destruction of the city than the citizens themselves. All that stands between total chaos and the return of the dark gods are Duke Modest (who doesn't like the place anyway) Jareth Obegarde (a vampire on his mother's side) and Jimmy Quickstint (who is about to do the wrong favour for the wrong man)...

I have to come clean and admit that I was not a huge fan of David Lee Stone's first book in this series (The Ratastrophe Catastrophe). It's not that book one was bad, far from it, it's just that it offered nothing incredibly new in a marketplace already swamped with Terry Pratchett clones.

However, Stone's follow-up novel, The Yowler Foul-up, is another kettle of fish altogether. Obviously still set in the same universe the writing has matured considerably since the first instalment. No longer did I feel like I was reading the work of any one of a thousand wannabe Pratchett students - Stone has certainly managed to carve an impressive niche for himself.

Written for children, I'm assuming, this book is sure to find a welcome home amongst a more mature audience. Who could fail to warm to the characters of Jimmy Quickstint, Duke Modest, Angustus Vrunak, Jareth Obegarde and Viscount Curfew. Okay, you may not warm to all of the characters, but for very good reasons - you're not supposed to.

This book is incredibly difficult to put down. Once you open The Yowler Foul-up, you will be compelled to read straight through to the end... and then pick it up and read it again.

I also loved the line drawings that head the top of each chapter. I couldn't see who was responsible for them, but they really helped to add that little extra something to Stone's work.

Stone is a genius, his style is fresh and original, and he knows how to spin a good yarn. This is certainly one author to watch closely in the future.

Nick Smithson

Buy this item online
We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal! Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£7.69 (Amazon.co.uk)
£9.89 (WHSmith.co.uk)

All prices correct at time of going to press.