Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a world where ghosts and ghouls were the norm? Where you could run into a ghast walking home from school? If you are like me and have often wondered what a world filled with creatures of the night might be like then Grimworld is definitely for you!
This book is about a boy named Henry who becomes the victim of a Vytiper, a dark being that steals years off of your life for their own gain through the use of a cursed pocket watch. Henry ends up meeting Lang another victim just like him, with only weeks left to live, and together they must face ghouls and villains that they never dreamed of.
This book handles stress and the “race against time” plot device well. You can feel the dread of the boys’ impending doom on each page. Time is of the essence as Lang’s time dwindles before their eyes. With each tick of the pocket watch, his life approaches its end. You can feel it from the very beginning when Lang tells Henry:
“By the way,” he leaned forward and grabbed Henry’s watch, inspecting it, “looks like you’ll die in 10 years.”
This stress pushes further when you discover how close Lang is to the end and is pushed even further when you are informed that Lang already knows someone who has perished to the Vytiper.
Moray releases info on the Vytiper in small morsels that are easy to chew but keeps you guessing until the end. The boys must pick up all of the information on the Vytiper on their own because it is a recent entity in their world and no one has had the time to further research the beings. Most people don’t even know of the Vytiper’s existence. With that said the boys’ mission doesn’t feel hopeless, they are capable protagonists who take every logical step to save themselves. Not once does it feel like they are making unrealistic decisions for their age, I hate when characters are made over or under mature for their age group. One thing I really need to enjoy a book is likable and believable characters, Grimworld offers just that. While each character has their quirks they also have strengths that make them interesting and lovable, from the very beginning I was rooting for Henry and Lang.
I might add one more piece to my review, and that is the realistic and unrealistic balance of the antagonist. The predicament they are in is reasonable. Being faced with death is a scary idea and I am willing to bet that there is a frightening amount of people in this world who would be willing to sacrifice years of another person’s life for their own gain. So while the antagonist is an unrealistic entity that could only surface in our nightmares, it has a human quality that makes it even scarier. We are faced with not only the fear of the unknown but the known.
Grimworld is a one-sitting book that really captured my attention and has jump-started my excitement for Halloween. If you are looking for a spooky middle-grade novel then I suggest you check out Grimworld you will be impressed. I give this book a whopping 5/5 stars! As always thank you to NetGalley and I’d like to extend a huge thank you to John Hunt Publishing Ltd. for giving me access to this wonderful book.