The Devil’s Paintbox
Written & illustrated by Robin Jarvis
Cover by Nicolas Delort
Published by Egmont March 2017
320 pages in paperback including map and pictures
scarily inventive to the point of weirdness
Summary from Publisher’s Website
Lil and Verne may think they have quelled the Dark forces that tried to destroy Whitby, but they have no idea that the powers they’ve been meddling with are about to turn on them. Despite Lil’s crucial role in saving her home from destruction, she notices that the townsfolk have become wary of her – even fear her. More than ever she needs the support of best friend Verne and the witch Cherry Cerise, but they are preoccupied by their attempts to uncover more secrets of the golden Nimius.
When Lil finds an antique box of watercolour paints she welcomes the diversion, little realising that every time she uses it something nasty escapes. But it is while they are distracted an old enemy finds a path to their door . . .
This is the second book in Robin Jarvis’s exciting new Witching Legacy series – I reviewed the first, The Power of Dark, last #ReviewMonday. As before, it’s full of dark magic, and occasionally gruesome. You could no doubt tell that from the striking cover by Nicolas Delort!
However, it also has a good deal of humour, both verbal wit and character-driven fun. This, and the warmth of the main characters’ relationships, stop it becoming relentlessly chilling. Even amongst some rather nasty stuff, there’s certain wicked playfulness – which makes the twist and turns all the more dramatic.
As Egmont say, “Perfect for age 11 years and over, although younger readers will also enjoy it – if they are brave enough!”
Certain characters from the previous novel make their re-appearance – you can’t keep a ‘good’ villain down in Mr Jarvis’s stricken Whitby. It’s not the easiest town to live in – at least in fiction. All manner of weird problems beset the place – some pretty disgusting. I’d love to tell you more but I have a strict no-spoilers policy . . .
The Devil’s Paintbox fairly zips along with action scenes and character conflicts, then ends with something of a cliffhanger. Perhaps it’s more like someone teetering along a fragile edge and you just know they will fall or the earth will crumble. At any rate, you will be itching to read the following book to see what new horrors Verne and Lil will have to cope with.