In this book, things just get weirder and weirder. The action snowballs as the danger increases, because this is a real monster that KILLS people. I think that aspect kept the mix off a little for me, but Ecton made me bust a gut at times when it came to Mr. Boots. I love that dog and feel sorry for him for everything he went through in this book. However, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for him in the coming books.
Ecton has a real grip on the relationship between the sisters. I enjoyed the byplay and the confrontations. Arlie’s best friend, Ty, doesn’t stand out as strongly as I’d hoped, but there’s plenty of room to grow.
The cover was somewhat misleading because I’d expected something of a science fiction tale, but I had a good time with the book after I realized what I truly had. I love the artwork, and it’s the kind of cover that will pull kids to it.
Reluctant readers should find a familiar voice with Arlie, and enough excitement to keep them turning pages as they chase the swamp monster. But I wouldn’t give the book to younger kids, even if they have an advanced reading ability, due to the violent content unless you’re sure they can handle it.
As for me, I’m looking forward to making the acquaintance of Cuddles McGee. An undead hamster? Mr. Boots is not going to be happy. Or safe, even!