Barry Hutchison’s Invisible Fiends is a series that just keeps getting better and better. Each of the books in the series has quite a different tone and level of creepiness. The last book, Doc Mortis was the creepiest, most sadistic book in the series and found Kyle trapped in the Darkest Corners with the demented Doc Mortis. Barry’s latest book in the series, The Beast, takes the creepiness factor down a notch, but throws in a good dose of humour, some real heart, and answers some of our burning questions.
Kyle and Ameena are on the run after being accused of murdering his mum’s cousin, Marion, and attacking his mum. They end up at the Keller house, the old house across the road where Kyle fought Mr Mumbles. After noticing some suspicious behaviour in Kyle’s house they go to check it out, only to find Kyle’s grandmother missing and a dead policewoman. As they search the streets for Kyle’s grandmother they realise that the neighbourhood is suspiciously quiet, and that’s when their trouble really begins. Kyle’s neighbours have turned into black-eyed, flesh-eating zombies, which they name screechers because of the horrible screeching sound they make before they attack. If they didn’t already have enough on their plate, there’s also a huge beast loose on the streets ,with razor-sharp spikes covering its body. It’s up to Kyle to save the ones he loves, but if he uses his powers he’ll set the hideous monsters from the Darkest Corners loose into his world. He’ll just have to do it the old-fashioned way.
The Beast is probably my favourite book of the series so far. Many of my burning questions were answered, especially about Joseph, Ameena and Kyle’s dad. I’d had my theories but I was wrong about most of them, so it’s good to know Barry can still blind-side me. One of the things I liked most about this book was that Barry’s humour really shined through. He can have you laughing out loud one minute and squirming the next. There is some hilarious banter between Kyle and Ameena, especially in the first half of the book. This has to be my favourite quote from this book, if not the whole series,
‘I take it she’s not normally like that?’
‘What, foaming at the mouth and battering her face against the window?’ I said. ‘No, that’s new.’
My favourite part, which had me cackling away, was when Kyle and Ameena were being attacked by the zombie policewoman in the street. As well as the humour though, there is also some real heart in the story, as it focuses on Kyle’s relationships with his parents, Ameena and Joseph.
Barry ends The Beast with a bang and leaves us waiting with bated breath for the final book in the series, The Darkest Corners (coming later in 2012). I just know that the final book is going to be horrific, shocking and awful, but totally amazing.
5 out of 5 stars