When I first picked up an Invisible Fiends book in my library last year I thought, ‘this is a BRILLIANT idea!’ In the past few years I’ve become a huge fan of horror stories for kids and reading the blurb I knew the Invisible Fiends series was going to be great. The mixture of horrific characters and dark humour had me hooked and I’ve loved every book in the series so far. The fourth book in the series, Doc Mortis was recently released in the UK but I couldn’t wait until it’s released in New Zealand in October so ordered it from Book Depository. I got straight into it as soon as it arrived, but took my time as I wanted to savour it.
One of the things I loved about Doc Mortis is that it starts off exactly where The Crowmaster ended. Kyle has been left wounded by the Crowmaster and is now wanted by the police for murder. He wants nothing more than to find his mum and make sure she is OK. Before he gets the chance to find her, Kyle discovers that he has been poisoned by the Crowmaster and he becomes trapped in the Darkest Corners, a place of nightmares. Kyle wakes up in a decrepit hospital, with hideous creatures trying to get inside and a crazed doctor hunting him. Doc Mortis wears a filthy lab coat and carries a medical bag full of rusty and bloody instruments, and he wants Kyle for his experiments. Kyle knows that his only hope of escaping the Darkest Corners is to defeat Doc Mortis and his freakish porters and find the cure to the poison, hidden somewhere in the hospital.
The brilliant Barry Hutchison has, once again, managed to create an even-freakier Fiend and put Kyle in more scary situations. Barry seems to be able to increase the scare-factor with each Invisible Fiends book and this is no exception. In previous books Kyle has been able to use his imagination to help him defeat the Fiends but in Doc Mortis he’s left helpless and trapped in the horrific world of the Darkest Corners. Several things made Doc Mortis my favourite book in the series so far. The first was the re-appearance of a certain character, which left me feeling completely different about him (I can’t tell you who or it will spoil the surprise, and Barry would kill me!). The second was that we learn more about what happens to the invisible friends when they get forgotten and why they end up as messed-up as they are.
I highly recommend the Invisible Fiends series, especially for fans of Darren Shan and Derek Landy. Rush out and get the whole series from your bookshop or library now.