Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Professor Gargoyle (Tales from Lovecraft Middle School #1)
Quirk Books, 2012
Genre: Horror, Humor
Description: Robert Arthur's neighborhood has been redistricted so now he will be starting middle school at the new state-of-the-art Lovecraft Middle School. To add to his misfortune of being the “new kid” the one person he recognizes from his old elementary school is his long-time nemesis, Glenn, who used to bully him every day and steal his lunch money. So much for starting over. However, Robert soon makes new friends with Karina, who seems to know a lot of secrets about the school, and a two-headed rat he names Pip and Squeak, who don’t say much by seem to convey a lot of information in their facial looks and movements. Robert quickly learns that there are more weird things at the school than just a two-headed rat when Glenn almost gets yanked inside a school locker to another dimension by a tentacle monster. Turns out the school was built over an old creepy mansion and a lot of that bad psychic energy is coming through turning the school into a very, very weird place.
Opinion: I was attracted to this series because it is clearly a play on H.P. Lovecraft’s world. Unfortunately, not too many real references actually exist in the first book besides the name of the school, a Cthulhuian like monster in the school crest, his mom who works at Dunwich Memorial Hospital, and some cultist-like gibberish words. The cover has the gimmick of a hologram that shows the science teacher turn from a nice old guy into a horned demon (other covers will show twin girls turning into Medusa-like creatures and a boy turning into an insect) but the interior illustrations by Eugene Smith are pretty cool. This book is a very, very simple introduction to the Cthulhu Mythos of Lovecraft. It does end in a total cliffhanger encouraging readers to check out the rest of the books. Unfortunately, the book is definitely for younger readers as it comes off with a very immature feel too it both in writing style, language, and tone. However, it was a quick, entertaining read. A good horror book for younger readers.