Saturday, July 3, 2010

Persy -- Werewolf Versus Dragon by The Beastly Boys

Possibly the cutest fantasy book I've read since Demonkeeper (by Royce Buckingham), Werewolf Versus Dragon is the first book in An Awfully Beastly Business. Their written by 'The Beastly Boys', also known as David Sinden, Matthew Morgan, and Guy Macdonald. They also feature wonderful illustrations by Jonny Duddle.

Ulf is a young werewolf (and by young, I mean about nine or ten), living at the RSPCB (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Beasts), which is a kind of reservation for endanged creatures. Also known as mythical beasts.

A young baby dragon has been murdered, and the mother has gone missing. An Inspector Black shows up at the RSPCB, claiming to be investigation the horrible event, but Ulf has his own suspicions. Along with his friends Tiana the fiary and Orson the giant, Ulf has to get to the bottom of things to save not only the mother dragon, but possibly the entire RSPCB reservation as well!

This children's book is a welcome break from normal urban fantasy books. It's rather typical in the sense that Ulf, essentially the 'child' of the RSPCB, is almost always right and always exceeds, but it's hard to hold that against him when he's so earnest and, let's face it, downright adorable. Even if there weren't such cute pictures, it'd be hard not to love Ulf.

There are currently four books in An Awfully Beastly Business, with a fifth coming out this month. I can definitely say that the second book, Sea Monsters And Other Delicacies, is just as good as the first. You might not like this book if you're a fan of urban fantasy, despite the protagonist being a werewolf, but if you like fantasy, cute characters, or just a fun escape from 'serious', complicated novels, this is the book for you! You don't have to be a fan of urban fantasy (in fact, you might be able to hate it and still like this book), you just have to like a fun little adventure.


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