International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year:
by Graham McNamee
Hodderchildrens (March 2009)
Sam North review
McNamee is already popular in Canada and deserves to be here in
the UK. Bonechiller is an exciting Canadian thriller that
is pretty damn scary and all too real. Small town Canada is pretty
terrifying most times, what with the extreme weather, everyone going
crazy on account of boredom. When kids come up against strange pawprints
that fit no known animal and you got that thing going where you
know some hungry beast is tracking you on the way home and theres
already a kid missing
you've got to take it seriously.
monsters you can see and there's mythical beasts no one sees and then
theres the ones that the old timers say never existed, but you
know they do and they are out to get you. Thats the chill in Bonechiller.
Theres half crazy Pike whos clearly destined to screw up
in life, Danny who is half way in love with Ash, whose got this first
nation Ojibwa thing going on and shes tougher and smarter than
him and that has to hurt. Dan lives with his Dad who is caretaker at
the Harvest Cove Marina, only its winter and theres nothing
to care about except ice. And the monster. Howie, the nerd friend at
school is the swat who knows everything and hes pretty keen to
get a look at the pawprints of Dannys monster that stung him on
the way home. He wants to categorise it if he can. But this monster
gets inside your head; it teases and then calls you out
what happened to Ray Dyson missing from the town, just wandered out
of the hospital in his jim-jams and vanished. Like the monster was summoning
Dan, Ash, Pike and Howie got to deal with thing before any one else
goes missing or gets eaten, but its a challenge they may regret.
Monsters have very sharp teeth and they bite, you got seven days before
it drives you crazy. The tell tale sign is the blue mark of its sting,
the poison getting you ripe, getting you ready so you smell just right
and all the time you are getting colder and colder, just the way an
ice monster likes it. That's what's happening to Danny. Everyday a little
colder and it's a race against time to find the monster and kill it.
But where is it? How do you find a myth?
This is a terrific tale with great young characters battling a fantastic
cunning monster that only they can see. Bonechiller is perfect
bedtime reading but better check under the bed and lock the door whilst
your at it.
© Sam North May 2009 author of Mean
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