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Author: Durham, Paul
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Year Published: 2018
ISBN: 978-1524700560
Grades: Grade 5, Grade 6, Grades 7 to 12

The Last Gargoyle

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High on the rooftops, they sit and guard you: overseeing what you call your home, but they call their Domain, on the lookout for Netherkin, spirits of the dead who refuse to go on to what’s Next. But don’t call them Gargoyles, oh no. They are Grotesques, defenders of the living from the things that go bump in the night, and they have been doing their job for centuries. Only now, there’s only one left in Boston, and something nefarious has chosen to rise in his city…
Award-winning Paul Durham, author of “The Luck Uglies” weaves a fantastic new tale in “The Last Gargoyle”. Humour offsets horror as we jump inside the head of Penhallow, a Grotesque living in New York venturing forth from his stone body in the form of a wisp, to prowl the city in search of Netherkin, and meet with the only other two Grotesques at a Tavern on music nights. When his comrades disappear, Penhallow is left alone to defend not only the Wards of his domains, but the whole city; a job made harder by the fact the very one who took his comrades, is now targeting one of his Wards. But Penhallow might have a bit of luck. He meet Viola, a strange girl who can both see and talk to him, and is determined to help. With her by his side, Penhallow is not about to give up without a fight. Durham does a wonderful job turning the average fantasy on its head by choosing to focus on the archetypal Chosen One’s protectors, instead of the Chosen one herself. The language is easy and flows nicely, making it a great read for those as low as Grade 4 or 5, though some early readers might have trouble keeping all the definitions straight in their head. As well, a word of caution: though Durham carefully ensures the horror doesn’t get to be too much, the description of the Boneless King evokes images of Slenderman, so readers affected by the internet phenomenon should not read this book.

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