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Digital Subscriptions > Quill & Quire > JUNE 2016 > Gothic revival

Gothic revival

Shane Peacock’s newest series kicks off with a suitably spooky – if flawed – first instalment

FICTION

The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim

Shane Peacock

Tundra Books, Ages 12+

WITHThe Dark Missions of Edgar Brim, Shane Peacock – author of the Boy Sherlock Holmes series – introduces readers to a new trilogy, a 19th-century gothic thriller featuring the eponymous Brim. It’s a strong enough introduction, but not without problems.

The opening of the novel is somewhat shaky. In the first chapter, we’re introduced to Brim, being attacked in his sleep by “the hag”: “She digs her knees into his chest, her talon hands grip his throat and her vile breath assaults him.” When he struggles awake, we learn that these nocturnal attacks have plagued him all his life. Brim is on a train, with a group of friends and a professor, returning to college on the Moors. It’s the week of Brim’s graduation, but they’re not going for the ceremony – they are walking into a trap, and they know it.

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