Book: WILD BOY AND THE BLACK TERROR
Author: Rob Lloyd Jones
TWs: Blood, death, abuse.
Series: Wild Boy (Book 2)
MG/YA/NA/A: Middle Grade
London, 1842. Wild Boy, master detective and former freak-show performer, and Clarissa, circus acrobat and troublemaker, are the secret last hope of a city beset by horror. A poisoner stalks the streets, leaving victims mad with terror?—?and then dead. Can the Black Terror be traced to a demon called Malphas? With their partnership threatened by rules and regulations, can Wild Boy and Clarissa uncover a cure in time to save the queen and the city?
I was so excited to pick up WILD BOY AND THE BLACK TERROR by Rob Lloyd Jones, the sequel to WILD BOY. This book was one of the ones I randomly selected for my TBR Beatdown in June.
This book picks up with Wild Boy and Clarissa under the protection of The Gentlemen, the Crown’s secret organization. While most of the organization is against having the two former circus performers under their roof, Marcus Bishop remains their biggest supporter. But when Marcus is struck by the Black Terror, Wild Boy and Clarissa find themselves racing the clock to save their mentor.
This book, like the first one, is super fast paced, eerie, and full of ‘who done it?’ fun. I loved the supernatural element of it- the supposed demon and the Black Terror, a condition that makes it’s victim relive their most traumatic memory over and over until their heart and mind can’t take it anymore. Wild Boy is the spunky Sherlock and Clarissa plays Watson perfectly. In this book, we get to see a more agitated yet vulnerable, Clarissa and it was interesting to see how the Black Terror worked on both of our young heroes.
Speaking of young… I’m not exactly sure why this is sold as middle grade other than the fact that the main characters are young. It’s marketed for Grade 5 (10 years old+) but I’m not sure that I would let my 12 year old godchild read this. There are a lot of graphic details in this book (such as an autopsy) and at one point, Wild Boy is trapped under a corpse and the book explains how the body is rotting. While an adult can usually handle those details, I don’t think I would expose a child younger than 13/14 to it.
Having said that, it is still a fantastic read. If you enjoy mysteries and the underdog getting the upper hand, this book is definitely for you!