I first met up with Emily, the very characterful heroine of this series, in the story of The Midnight Hour. This introduced Emily, and us, to a world that she had not known existed, but which her parents were heavily involved in. Yes, we have parents who have been keeping secrets (quite big ones as well) from their daughter; obviously it was intended to keep her out of harm’s way, but things didn’t quite work out. Anyway Emily managed to save the Midnight Hour from certain destruction, and discovered that she was part Pooka (a shapeshifter from Celtic mythology). Life should have gone back to normal, but for Emily that does not appear to be an option.
In the Midnight Howl we are taken back to this magical version of London, that has been frozen in time since 1859. Emily is allowed to go there with her father (a postman in this magical realm) in order to practice her shape changing abilities, but she is banned from contacting any members of her mother’s family, because her mother was banished from the clan years ago. Unfortunately Emily discovers that things are not well and that magic is creeping out of the Hour, because someone is bringing in goods from the real world. The adventure that follows sees Emily re-united with her friend Officer-in-training Tarkus as well as the magical force called the Library (representing Literature) as they try and prevent the total destruction of the Midnight Hour and all of its inhabitants.
What an absolutely brilliant follow-up to a really exciting story. Emily is one of those characters that you really hope will succeed, but at the same time she makes you want to bang your head against a wall. She really wants to do what her parents tell her, but somehow the world and circumstances get in the way. I think a fair description of Emily would be to say that she is feisty, very quirky and her temper has something of a short fuse. Perhaps my favourite character is her pet hedgehog called Hoggins, who doesn’t speak (naturally) but does have a way of commenting on the action around him. If you go to Laura Trinder’s website you will find some great downloads, including creating your own Hoggins https://www.lauratrinder.co.uk/downloads
This team have produced a wonderfully subversive and funny adventure that provides just enough darkness to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. I am really looking forward to some further escapades with this delightful cast of characters.