This is a new series for young readers of 8+, which is great fun. Any child who has fantasised about their school having a secret magical gateway from which monsters may emerge to cause chaos (I know I was one of those daydreamers!) will really enjoy these tales based around Lovecraft Middle School. There are definite echoes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and lots of humour to balance the action and the really rather scary moments. When shy Robert Arthur starts at his new school, he’s only worried about the school bully, but soon discovers that the school harbours scarier creatures than his tormentor Glenn Torkells. It’s really a gateway to the alternaverse, where an evil genius plots to take over the world, starting with his classmates. Can he outwit the hamster-gobbling Professor Goyle, and beat the snake-like Sarah Price to become school president? The fate of the school hangs in Robert’s hands, aided by his unlikely ally Glenn, ghost Karina, a two-headed rat and the mysterious school librarian… Lots of nods to the adult horror genre which made me smile, but the fast-paced action will keep kids enthralled, and Robert is a good hero. The hologrammatic covers are great too, and will catch kids’ attention. The third in the series, Teacher’s Pest, is out in May. Rating: ***
Professor Gargoyle, Quirk Books, 2012, ISBN 9781594745911
The Slither Sisters, Quirk Books, 2013, ISBN 9781594745935
Copies of the books were provided for review by the publisher.