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Creature of the Night Hardcover – March 31, 2009

4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 8 Up—Rebellious and resentful Bobby, 14, is ripped from his world of drugs and theft in Dublin and forced to move to a seemingly sleepy farm community. After stealing and demolishing a car that belonged to a man who inexplicably disappeared, he is required by the simple, very human Dooley family, from whom his mother is renting a house, to make amends in the form of farm labor. At home, his mother is too worn out and irresponsible to care about her son's indiscretions unless they impact her directly. And they both ignore four-year-old Dennis when he talks about his new nighttime friend, "a little woman." Bobby makes grand plans to escape the farm and the Dooleys' imposed servitude for the wild nights of Dublin. But when his city friends sell him out and he is left wandering the streets alone, the honesty and integrity of sore muscles and a hard day's work become more appealing. Bobby is a powerful character, hard and devoid of feeling, initially, due to the harshness of his own reality. His transformation is empowering, however, and the Dooleys demonstrate how the smallest pat on the back can change the course of an entire life. This novel will draw in reluctant readers with the mysterious supernatural element as well as the mayhem and defiance. Once hooked, they will be moved by the way that Bobby reassesses his expectations for himself due to the kindness and mentoring of a neighbor.—Kat Redniss, Brownell Library, Essex Junction, VT
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Though not as overtly as she did in The New Policeman (2007) and its sequel, The Last of the High Kings (2008), Thompson again pits contemporary Irish rural life against an undercurrent of faerie mystery. Hoping to pry 14-year-old Bobby away from his Dublin life of reckless violence, drug abuse, and grand theft, Bobby’s welfare-dependent mother transplants the family to a creaky old house in the countryside. Balancing the grittiness of Bobby’s angst and relentless fights with his mother are the whispered stories of the house’s previous occupants, a couple who murdered their child, believing her to be a faerie changeling. Thompson weaves this lightly into the plot, and it’s easy to get so caught up in the reckless joyride of Bobby’s juvenile delinquency and subsequent rural makeover (a believable process of baby steps and serious lapses) that the creepy undercurrent fades away. But never entirely, as an unseen visitor who comes in the middle of the night continues to worry at the edges of Bobby’s consciousness. The story ends on a somewhat abrupt note that might disappoint some, but for thoughtful readers it will rearrange what the entire story’s proceedings have really been about. A unique blend of subtlety and brashness, this is an honest coming-of-age novel in the guise of a gripping YA thriller. Grades 9-12. --Ian Chipman

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (March 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596435119
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596435117
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,487,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate Thompson (b. 1956) is an award-winning British-Irish author of adult and children's fiction. She is best known for her young adult fantasy novels, which include the Switchers Trilogy: Switchers, Midnight's Choice, and Wild Blood. She has won the Whitbread/Costa Children's Book Award and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, and has been awarded the Children's Books Ireland (CBI) Book of the Year Award four times. Thompson lives on the west coast of Ireland.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Maggie Knapp on May 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It is hard to categorize this book. Bobby is a delinquent, thieving, foul-mouthed, rebellious Irish teen who is moved by his troubled mother to a house in the countryside. She is hoping that Bobby, removed from the bad influences of Dublin, will be able to start over. Or at least that she, Bobby and his younger brother can hide from the creditors. Oh, one small thing: the house may or may not be haunted. The previous tenant disappeared. Fascinating and richly drawn neighbors balance the mom's lousy parenting. All of the characters are many-sided and realistic. There are no pat answers to any of the questions, but the story will suck you in and keep you reading far into the night.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Masha du Toit on March 5, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This book swept me away.

The "hero" is a young boy that most of us would avoid knowing, and would judge out of hand as a burden on society, a juvenile criminal, callous and violent. And yet Kate Thompson succeeds in portraying him sensitively and sympathetically without excusing his behaviour.

The characters are convincing and fascinating, and I finished the book feeling as though I had really spent the time inside somebody else's head, and learnt something new about how the world works.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By NM on December 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I must say when I initially bought this book I wasn't enticed by the premise. I just bought it hoping for a thriller to pass the time. It started off slowly enough and I wondered where the narrative was heading. I didn't pay attention as the characters were slowly introduced and fleshed out until you came to care for them. I held on as the plot took me along with enough incentive to turn just one more page. By the halfway point I realized I was completely hooked. The author took her time bringing you in like a frog in a slow boil. The plot takes you in an unexpected way as you follow the troubled teen on his discovery on who is the true creature of the night. Great read. Highly recommend.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. King on September 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I agree that this was pretty well written and engaging. I would have preferred a bit more scare and a little less of the bad boy exploits. This book has been recommended for grades 8 and up. The characters in this tale are very rough and their language is equally rough. The author uses the F-BOMB quite a bit. Parents may want to consider this before letting their children read the book.
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