Tag Archives: Barry Hutchison

Invisible Fiends: The Beast by Barry Hutchison

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

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Invisible Fiends: Doc Mortis by Barry Hutchison

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.

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Barry Hutchison’s Doc Mortis video blog

In his latest video blog, Barry Hutchison talks about the release of his latest Invisible Fiends book, Doc Mortis.  He also answers reader’s questions, including one of mine – which of your characters would you least like to be stuck in a lift with?

 

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Doc Mortis blog tour and short story

I discovered Barry Hutchison’s Invisible Fiends series earlier this year when I was looking through our new titles in the library.  Children’s horror/ghost stories are one of my favourite genres and Barry has to be one of the best writers in this genre.  The Invisible Fiends series is incredibly original and terrifically scary.  Barry has taken the idea of an invisible friend, something that comforts children, and turned it into something that scares the pants off of me, let alone the children these books are aimed at.

I have no idea how he does it, but each book in the series gets creepier and he amps-up the terror.  First there was Mr Mumbles, then Raggy MaggieThe Crow Master, and now there is Doc Mortis.  On the Christchurch Kids Blog, Barry described Doc Mortis as “a deranged imaginary friend who hides in an old abandoned hospital and likes to think he’s a surgeon. He kidnaps children and performs operations on them while they are still awake, turning them inside out, giving them the heads of dogs, and much, much worse.”  He’s also said on his own blog that Doc Mortis is the only book to have given him nightmares while writing it, so it’s going to be pretty freaky.  I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

Barry Hutchison has just started his Doc Mortis blog tour.  Check Barry’s blog to find out where he is and when.  One of the most exciting parts of the blog tour is that he is posting a five-part short story about the origins of Doc Mortis.  The first part can be found at the excellent  Book Zone for Boys blog, and it will send a chill through you.

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Scare yourself silly with the Invisible Fiends

Did you have an invisible friend when you were younger?  If you did you probably can’t remember what they looked like now.  Kyle had an invisible friend when he was younger whose name was Mr Mumbles.  Mr Mumbles lived in the loft and would come and tap on Kyle’s bedroom window when he wanted to play.  Kyle had completely forgotten about him until, one night, Kyle hears the tapping on his window.  This time though, Mr Mumbles doesn’t want to play, he wants to kill Kyle and he’ll stop at nothing to do so.  With the help of a mysterious girl called Ameena, Kyle races to escape his invisible fiend.  Kyle realizes that the only way to defeat Mr Mumbles is to use the thing that created him – his imagination.

Mr Mumbles is the first in the series of Invisible Fiends books by Barry Hutchison.  The second book, Raggy Maggie is also out, with the third book due soon.  These books are great for anyone who likes creepy horror stories, especially fans of Skulduggery Pleasant.  They’re creepy, gruesome, suspenseful and action-packed.  Invisible Fiends is definitely my new favourite series!   Recommended for 9+ DON’T READ AFTER DARK! 10 out of 10

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