THE BEASTS OF UPTON PUDDLE by Simon West-Bulford

THE BEASTS OF UPTON PUDDLE

Age Range: 11 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

A secret veterinary hospital for mythical creatures and a hidden island run by dragons and seraphim form stages on which the author shovels heaps of unrelated, undeveloped story ideas.

During the week, 12-year-old Joe Copper, who lives with his widowed mom and her friend “Aunt” Rose, is viciously bullied at school. On Sundays, he finds himself delivering shipments of kitty litter and hard liquor to Merrynether Mansion, a clinic run by ancient Veronica Merrynether and her hulking associate Heinrich for patients ranging from a fire-breathing wyvern with hiccups to a wee alcohol-loving cluricaun with a thick Irish accent and a gift for invective. Meanwhile a huge, hairy beast is sighted haunting surrounding Ringwood Forest, which evil tycoon Argoyle Redwar is leveling for an industrial park. The villain is also seeking to extort from Veronica the location of Pyronesia, the island from which her patients come. Furthermore, Gnauserous, the dragon queen of Pyronesia, is a hair away from leading her armies out to (by unspecified means) exterminate humanity. West-Bulford wedges in further elements, from silly food (Flubbage, aka “Flatulensia Stenchorendous”) to flying, all-seeing, slime-throwing eyeballs called furdlewumps, for comic relief, then gathers his cast for a climactic battle that leaves the island littered with corpses and sown with land mines.

A mare’s nest of storylines, unencumbered by internal logic or any signs of credible resolution. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-1605425-20-7
Page count: 487pp
Publisher: Medallion Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2013




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