The Cat’s Maw by Brooke Burgess

The Cat’s Maw by  Brooke Burgess
Publisher:  Self
Genre:  Contemporary,   Paranormal,   Suspense/Mystery
Length:  Full Length (278 Pages)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rating:  4.5 Stars
Review by: Cyclamen

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy


From award-winning storyteller Brooke Burgess (Broken Saints) comes a haunting, touching, and inspired children’s fiction debut — THE CAT’S MAW — the first volume in a contemporary mystery/fantasy epic for brave young readers. With countless rewards for lovers of page-turning adventures, fans of creepy and magical thrills…and, of course, for feline fanatics of all ages!

In the sleepy town of Appleton, a young loner follows a stray cat onto the road and is struck by a car. A leg is shattered, a summer is ruined, and the troubled life of Billy Brahm goes from bad…to cursed.

When the mysterious cat appears at his bedside, Billy is haunted by strange and prophetic dreams — the creatures in them speak of Watchers, and Shadows, and the Enemy that Awakens.

Does this impossible realm hold the key to healing the broken boy? Is the golden-eyed cat there to help him…or to make the nightmares come true?

Too frightened to share the truth with his strict adoptive parents, Billy realizes that the only ones he can turn to are the local vet’s daughter, the town’s ‘crazy cat lady’…

…and a mystical tiger, beckoning from his dreams.

Billy Brahm always seems to have had bad luck. Some call him cursed. As a result of his bad luck as well as his very high intelligence, he has no friends. He is a loner. When he is hit by a car and his leg is shattered, the curse seems to have won. His strict adoptive parents don’t tell him that he’ll probably lose his leg, but that’s what he’s figured out on his own. But for now his leg is encased in plaster and his plans for summer vacation crushed. Billy slides into depression, not eating, living in pain, until a mysterious cat appears at his bedside. He has to fight to keep the cat, but his life starts changing then. However, he experiences horrible nightmares and he certainly can’t talk about those with his parents. He turns to the town’s elderly crazy cat lady, who lives across the street, and to the local vet’s daughter, to help him understand the mystical tiger, calling to him from his dreams.

Billy is a very believable and likeable character. He is mature beyond his years in some areas, but in others he is still a scared ten-year-old boy. I liked the complexity of his character, and I was impressed by the way that he handled some very scary situations. He knows when he needs help and when he can do something on his own, and in the end he uses a variety of resources to solve the mystery.

The paranormal aspects of The Cat’s Maw are very well done. They really add to the increased tension and suspense in the novel, and the mystery of who the strange creatures are is intense. How much of Billy’s dreams are prophetic, and how will the prophetic moments be revealed?

Readers who enjoy the out-of-the-ordinary mystery will certainly want to follow Billy’s adventures in The Cat’s Maw.

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