Electric Monkey is a new Young Adult imprint from Egmont Press that will be launched in February 2012 with three brand new titles. One of these is Oliver Twisted by J D Sharpe. When the author contacted me to ask if I would read and review Oliver Twisted, I was very unsure.
Marketed as 'supreme fusion of the eternal classic with horror Victorian England but not as we know it', this is so far out of my comfort zone that I was actually a little bit scared at the thought of it. Add to that the suggestion of blood sucking vampires and other such nasties and I was all set to refuse. However, there was something that intrigued me about all of this, not least the fabulous looking cover so I took a deep breath and said yes, of course I'll read it.
And I've read and enjoyed every page of this gory, horrifying tale of terror and monsters and evil. The writing is wonderful and although the plot line is fabulously over the top, J D Sharpe really knows how to weave an exciting adventure. She also knows how to make the reader grimace in horror and gasp in shock as more and more evil is unleashed upon Victorian London. All of Dicken's original Oliver Twist characters are included in this re-telling of that well-loved classic. Who knew that Fagin was a soul-stealer? Or that Bill Sykes was a werewolf? Oliver knows that his destiny is one of good but must escape the evil that surrounds him - avoiding the woe-begottens that would feed on his flesh, the zombies and the were wolves is a roller coaster ride of an adventure. JD Sharpe portrays the dark and gothic streets with ease and pulls the reader into the mist and gloom and terror of the dark London nights easily.
I can't say that I'm fully converted to vampires and zombies but I can say with honestly that I really enjoyed this debut novel. I wish Jasmine every success with this novel and also to Electric Monkey in their new venture. Many thanks to Jasmine for sending my copy for review.