Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Book review: "Professor Gargoyle" Book 1 in Tales from Lovecraft Middle School by Charles Gilman

Professor Gargoyle: Tales from Lovecraft Middle School #1 review
Author: Charles Gilman
5 out of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Middle Grade (10 on up)
Recommended for: Readers of all ages who enjoy a MG fantasy adventure story, especially with Lovecraftian overtones

Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review.

From the Back of the Book: Strange things are happening at Lovecraft Middle School. Rats are leaping from lockers. Students are disappearing. The school library is a labyrinth of secret corridors. And the science teacher is acting very, very peculiar. Robert Arthur knew that seventh grade was going to be weird, but this is ridiculous!

With the help of some unlikely new friends, Robert discovers there’s more to Lovecraft Middle School than meets the eye. Can he uncover the secrets of the school before it’s too late?

My Thoughts: I can’t remember exactly how I ran across this book, but I have been intrigued from the first moment I heard about it, and was very excited to see it as part of my Amazon Vine selection for September. I have to tell you, the cover on this is so fun – it is what is called a “lenticular” cover, where the illustration changes as you move it, so you see the professor turn into a gargoyle as the cover moves. Also, there are several adorable little rats on the back cover – and the promise of rats jumping out of lockers? I want to go to that school – I think rats are adorable!

So, the book itself...Well, as a spooky horror book, for me at least, it wasn’t terribly scary. But that’s because I like rats, and I would totally read a book called The Adventures of Fangs Dungaree, Teenage Vampire Cowboy Detective #1: The Case of the Flaming Horseshoe. Initially I liked Professor Garfield Goyle (Gar-Goyle, har de har har) because he seemed sympathetic toward the plight of homeless rodents, but then... well, he lost my sympathy vote in the scene with the hamster. Hamsters may be vile tempered, furry staplers, but they’re cute doggone it.

However, the scare-meter might be pretty high for folks afflicted with arachnophobia, for those who are afraid of rats, and those who are afraid of scary authority figures. The kids don’t know who they can trust, and find themselves in quite a bind. I like what the author is doing here, and I think this has the potential to be quite a good series. There is a second book due out in January, 2013, called The Slither Sisters, and another in May, 2013 called Teacher's Pest. You can learn more about it online at (link if you’re viewing this on a site that allows such).

I really enjoyed this book, and I definitely plan to be on the lookout for upcoming books in this series. I like how Robert befriends Glenn, I like Karina, and I particularly like Pip and Squeak. I like the fact that the author apparently knows about bruxing (the teeth chattering that rats do when they are happy) and that rats make wonderful and intelligent pets. I just loved the whole thing – you should definitely check this fun book out.


  1. I actually love rats so that part wouldn't scare me... but that cover picture with the horned dude is super creepy!

    1. That picture is on the "monster" phase - he morphs from a fairly normal-looking guy. That's Professor Goyle...

      Rats are freakin' awesome - and Pip and Squeak are particularly awesome rats!


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