Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Review: Tales From The Wyrd Museum Trilogy by Robin Jarvis

The Woven Path: In a grimy alley in the East End of London stands the Wyrd Museum, cared for by the stranger Webster sisters -- and scene of even stranger events. Wandering through the museum, Neil Chapman, son of the new caretaker, discovers it is a sinister place crammed with secrets both dark and deadly. Forced to journey back to the past, he finds himself pitted against an ancient and terrifying evil, something which is growing stronger as it feeds on the destruction around it. Dare to enter the chilling and fantastical world of the Wyrd Museum in this first book of a compelling trilogy.

The Raven's Knot: Brought out of the past, elfin-like Edie Dorkins must now help the Websters to protect their age-old secret. For outside the museum's enchanted walls, a nightmarish army is gathering in the mystical town of Glastonbury, bent on destroying the sisters and their ancient power once and for all...

The Fatal Strand: Something has come to disturb the slumbering shadows and watchful walls of the forbidding museum and Miss Ursula Webster prepares to fight to the death with the strange new threat. Neil Chapman, caught in the unforgiving Web of Fate, is drawn into the battle, but is there really anyway he can stop the tide of time and Doom? 

Robin Jarvis is best known for his Deptford Mice books but personally I feel that the Wyrd Museum Trilogy is by far his best work to date. To be perfectly honest, his other books have never really appealed to me that much - I'm just not a huge fan of stories that feature talking animals as the main characters. If you have read any of these other books by Mr Jarvis and feel the same as I do then don't let that put you off reading this trilogy...... they couldn't be more different. These are fantasy books that have been written to scare the pants off you!

The first book in the trilogy, The Woven Path, sets the scene perfectly. The premise is not a new one - boy and his younger brother move into a strange and exciting place (in this case a very unusual museum) as their single-parent father has a new job there. However, the story soon takes a very different direction from normal, with Neil, the main character, making a scary journey back in time to WWII London during the Blitz; a journey involving a toy possessed by the spirit of a dead airman and a battle against a fearsome ancient demon.

Whilst The Woven Path is pretty creepy, the second book in the series, The Raven's Knot, takes this to a new level. It takes quite a lot in a book to scare me, but this one left me feeling very uneasy throughout and has some genuinely terrifying scenes, featuring the spine-chilling crow dolls and the menacing Valkyrie. For me this is the best book of the trilogy - it develops the characters further, and we also begin to find out what part the Wyrd Museum and its strange owners, the Webster sisters, have to play in protecting the world from a demonic end. It also leaves us with a nail-biting cliffhanger, and I challenge you to not reach straight for the third book to find out what happens next!

The final book in the trilogy is a great end to the series, with yet another horrifying villain called Jack 'Tick-Tock' Timms. In this book we get even further character development, including the chilling descent into complete insanity of one of the Webster sisters. On top of all of this, Neil and his friends have to try to prevent the end of the world despite even the museum itself seeming to turn against them.

The pace of the narrative in all three books is excellent, and you really will not want to put them down. Neil, our hero, is very realistic, and his dialogue, actions and emotions throughout the stories are all very believable. There are also many elements of Norse mythology 'woven' throughout the story which may encourage readers to carry out further investigation into the ancient tales which these books use as a foundation. 

Just one final warning...... if you are easily scared then it is probably best not to read these books just before you go to sleep; elements of books 2 and 3 in the trilogy especially have a habit of creeping into your dreams and turning them into nightmares.  

1 comment:

  1. these books are really good i've read the woven path and iching to read the nest one! btw these aren't just for boy's because i love them too and i'm a girl!!!