The Grindle Witch, by Benjamin J. Myers

Published by: Orion Children’s Books | Published: 2nd April 2015 | Edition: Hardback (review copy)

Brace yourselves and be prepared for a pacey, supernatural adventure – it’s an attention-holder for sure!

The Grindle Witch

Graphic cover, perfectly suited to the story.

Bored Jack Jolly had only been in the village of Grindle for two weeks when the first ‘incident’ took place. His father, a pathologist, was called out to investigate the death of a local chap, but the authorities are at a loss as to what could have caused such destruction (the shredding of his body).

It’s not a great start to a new ‘quiet’ life in the country, especially now the villagers are desperate to know who could have done such a thing. But the havoc doesn’t stop there…

Jack and his new friends, Paddy and Leila, are naturally curious and soon they stumble over the divide that separates them from relative safety and where they will connect with supernatural entities.

Needless to say, more trouble brews and the young teens get into all kinds of scrapes.  And when an odd character arrives, with his skinny limbs and a Fedora, things get a whole lot weirder…

Without a doubt, Jack makes the perfect unwitting hero. Being shy and a bit awkward, it’s great to hear his thoughts when he believes he’s said something so utterly stupid, only to make it ten times worse in his head, then say something even more stupid – you get the idea!

We see the trio’s friendship grow alongside their personalities, which in turn strengthens their bond. Between being faced with making decisions in some pretty bizarre circumstances and an evil showdown taking place, there’s also a lovely crush blossoming between two of the friends, but nothing heavy to worry about though.

It’s so refreshing to read that their battles can be fought without the aid of a single mobile phone or Google; in this creepy mystery / adventure, it proves that problem solving can be done with pure intellect and leg work (or cycle power in this case) and yet the story’s not in the slightest bit old fashioned – the unexpected twist at the end was a real gem!

Just one thing, I think younger children may find some descriptions a wee bit unnerving; some of them conjure up some pretty grim scenes, particularly where deaths have taken place. Don’t get me wrong, they are brilliantly portrayed, but it is a tad graphic in places.

Talking of graphic, that cover is just amazing in real life and totally compliments the story: Mayhem, magic and evil entities – ALWAYS A WINNING COMBO.

Rating: 5/5

(I must offer my sincere thanks to the publisher for sending me this hardback copy of this book for review. It’s a brilliant story so I’m truly grateful.)

You can follow the author on Twitter: @BenjaminJMyers | Publisher: @the_orionstar