Maudlin Towers: Curse of the Werewolf Boy by Chris Priestley
Publication: July 10th, 2018
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
Mildew and Sponge don’t think much of Maudlin Towers, the blackened, gloomladen, gargoyle-infested monstrosity that is their school. But when somebody steals the School Spoon and the teachers threaten to cancel the Christmas holidays until the culprit is found, our heroes must spring into action and solve the crime!
But what starts out as a classic bit of detectivating quickly becomes weirder than they could have imagined. Who is the ghost in the attic? What’s their history teacher doing with a time machine? And why do a crazy bunch of Vikings seem to think Mildew is a werewolf?
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Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for giving me a copy of this book in an exchange for an honest review.
This book is so freaking funny. Mildew and Sponge go on one wild adventure. I love how ridiculous the whole plot is but it makes so much sense why Mildew and Sponge, who are children, take this all very seriously. The School Spoon has been stolen *GASP* and the holiday’s for the boys of Maudlin Towers are about to be ruined. That just won’t do for Mildew and Sponge. So what do our young Holmes & Watson decide to do? Why they will solve the case of the missing spoon. Simple. Easy. That is until they see a ghost and not just them but another boy sees one in the attic. Now they have to solve two mysteries. Ok, two is not too bad. Oh, wait. Is that a Viking they see? What is a Viking doing in their school? Wait. Wait. Wait. Why does the history teacher have some weird time machine contraption? How did that one teacher die? What is all this nonsense about a wolf? How did Romans get involved? How did Mildew get wrapped up into an article and school play??? STOP. This is too many mysteries for our main characters to handle. Never fear though these clever boys have wit, smarts, and friendship. They can handle anything. I know what you’re thinking that all sounds preposterous. IT WAS. But this whole things was so reminiscent of my childhood that I loved it so much. Things got curiouser and curiouser. The more insane it became the funnier it became.
If you are not someone who can look past your own personal brain then please don’t read this. My biggest pet peeve is adults or young adults reading middle grades and in the reviews, they say, “I didn’t connect” or “The voice was really juvenile.” WELL YOU DON’T SAY???? Maybe, and I might be reaching here, it wasn’t MEANT for YOU! I can’t stand pretentious people who feel every book has to cater to them. This is a middle grade. It is full of ridiculous plots and hilarious kids not thinking through any of their decisions. To Mildew and Sponge, they don’t need to question any of the Ludacris things they just need to save their holidays. This plot doesn’t have any major depth. It is just fun and light for kids to easily understand. It is so much fun and if you enjoy that type of reading then PLEASE read this joy.
As I said, this isn’t all in depth. But, Priestley sure as hell knows how to write hilarious dialogue. The world-building is actually really good as well. I pictured this deary gothic school super vividly and I loved the look in my head lol. Now what I will say as a negative is that since the plot is a bit whacky there are times when the transition from one scene to the next is not as clear. This book actually could’ve been a bit longer. I found myself wanting more in certain parts because they would just end and boom next scene. Other than that the voice and tone were done perfectly. I felt like I really was in the mind of two young boys. The way they spoke and viewed school/teachers and just all the nonsense was so spot on.
Mildew was the one more out there. He was less afraid but still afraid lol. Sponge was the one a little more afraid. They were both hilarious. I can’t say much except think of two young boys in a school but maybe more back in the day before technology lol like the 1800s. They had wit. They were clever. They used creativity to get out of a lot of situations. They were literally the epitome of children. I loved them both equally. The side characters were equally funny. I just had so much fun reading this book.
“Gosh,” said Sponge admiringly. “You are clever, Mildew.” “True,” said Mildew. “But it’s very clever of you to see it, Sponge. So many don’t.”
“Very well. If X=5 and Y=Brazil, what is the square root of Thursday?”
“Who?” said Mildew. “Whom,” Furthermore corrected him. “Shut up, Furthermore,” said Kenningworth.
Mildew shook his head. Why grown men made such fools of themselves over the female of the species he would never understand.
“Now see here,” said Sponge. “A fellow can’t just go about taking another fellow’s trousers.”
“I’ve come from the future to save myself!” whispered Mildew with relief. “How resourceful of me.”