Book Review,  Reviews

Sammy Feral’s Diaries of Weird: Hell Hound Curse – Eleanor Hawken

“Pay up or pack up!
That was the message Dad gave Donny and Red today.
Yes, they’ve been living at Feral Zoo rent-free for months. Yes, their pet collection of a gut worm, a phoenix and a wish frog isn’t exactly cute and cuddly. Yes, they look like weirdos of the highest degree and most normal people would rather swim with crocodiles than talk to them. Yes, they register a firm 7 on the Feral Scale of Weirdness. And they’re my friends. In the last few months we’ve been through some tricky times together.” 

When Sammy’s Dad points out that if things don’t start getting better for the Zoo it may have to close Sammy knows things will have to change, but he doesn’t want to lose his friends in teh process. Sammy has to figure out how to help Donny and Red make enough money to pay their way and how to get more people interested in the Zoo before it has to close. However when sightings of a Hell Hound come in and Sammy, Donny and Red go to investigate things really get worrying, not only do they have to find money for the Zoo but Sammy now has a deadly curse on his hands that will get worse if nothing is done about it! 

Sammy Feral is back and he’s as awesome as ever! I loved the first Sammy Feral book and though I missed out on the second I picked the third up and carried on reading no problems. 
Each book carries on from the next but there is enough back story covered to fill in any gaps that I may have missed from not reading Yeti Rescue. This story is very much about the Zoo and its threatened closure, the Hell Hound and another rather unexpected friend. I really loved the whole thing and especially that it all happened around Sammy’s normal life of schools and friends. The idea of coming together as a family to save the zoo and helping friends out is a major theme which I think kids will take away from the book and apply themselves.
The characters in Hell Hound Curse are as awesome as ever and even the sucky Biker Boy boy band members were ok enough to deal with and weren’t as soppy as I expected. I love the sense of community and friendship that comes from this book and even the most unexpected characters can turn out ok. 
The book is obviously a lot younger than I tend to read but it was so much fun and I definitely recommend it to the 7+ age range. The illustrations and voice used is perfect for a quick bedtime story, so long as your child doesn’t get scared easily, and I would not hesitate to get stuck in to another of these books. I may even have to check out Yeti Rescue just so I fill in the middle part of Sammy’s story. 
Hell Hound Curse will be published on August 8th by Quercus Books. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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