Friday, November 1, 2013

Book Review: Substitute Creature

Creepy Fun! Review of Tales From Lovecraft Middle School #4 - Substitute Creature by Charles Gilman - I almost got this posted in time for Halloween.

Back Book Cover Reads: 
“It’s Valentine’s Day and a monstrous blizzard has descended upon Lovecraft Middle School, trapping twelve-year-old Robert Arthur inside the building! He and his companions have no choice but to spend the night-while snaking on cafeteria food, sleeping on the gym floor, facing off against a sinister substitute teacher, and thwarting an army of abominable beasts. This fourth novel in the Lovecraft Middle School series begins right where Teacher’s Pest ended – with more action, more adventure, and more outrageous monsters!”

Dawn's Recommendation: 4.5 Stars!

What I liked: The book opened with a great hook – the MCs, Robert and Glenn, in a perilous situation. I wasn’t sure how it would be reading the fourth book in a series (not having read any of the others), but I did not feel lost. The author gives you bits throughout, so you learn about the alternate dimension of Tillinghast Manor, where the creatures come from, and that the MCs are fighting against the evil from it.

It was an easy and fun read. Great for elementary and middle school kids. I wondered if it would be scary, but it’s wasn't. It gives just enough "bizarre" to be really interesting, but nothing gory that would cause children to have nightmares.   

Loved the front cover (the teacher-turning-to-creature hologram effect). That in itself is a GREAT hook for kids who want a scare!

Loved, loved, LOVED the artwork throughout (illustrated by Eugene Smith).

What I didn’t like: I’d like to know the characters a little better. They are somewhat flat. What do they like? What do they feel and hope and dream? Maybe readers get to know them better in the previous books and therefore it isn’t necessary in Book Four, but since I haven’t read the other books, I don’t know. 

Overall: Kids will like this book...and they will want to read the others. It's just the right amount of creepy fun to bring you back for more!

Disclosure: I received this book through Library Thing for free in exchange for my honest review.

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