Review: The Wildstorm Curse

Written by Eve Wersocki Morris
Cover Illustration by Paola Escobar
Map Illustration by Kristyna Litten
Published by Hodder & Stoughton (an imprint of Hachette Children’s Group)

A fabled witch. A powerful curse. A monster out for revenge.

The Wildstorm Curse is a dark, dangerous and mesmerising adventure with an ominous air of mystery that made it an utterly unputdownable, gripping read.

13-year-old Kallie is spending a week of her summer holidays at Wildstorm Theatre Camp, having won a playwriting competition to take part in the production being staged at the village theatre.  As Kallie sleeps in a tent in the meadow behind Hollowstar House, she is unaware of the awakening of an ancient creature in the woodland above the village of Merricombe, a creature seeking revenge …

Despite a strange dream, Kallie wakes feeling refreshed and excited as she loves the theatre and is working towards her dream of becoming a playwright. She soon meets Emilia Masters whose mother is the play director and owner of the theatre.  Emilia tells her that the villagers think that the theatre has been cursed by a 17th Century witch, Ellsabet Graveheart, who lived in the village when the theatre was first built – and she has written the play that the cast are performing, a play that has never-before been performed.

So begins a terrifically thrilling, spine-tingling adventure as danger edges ever closer, as secrets are unearthed and unexpected truths are revealed. Will Kallie and her friends be able to defeat an ancient power intent on destroying the village?  Can the pen and storytelling prove more powerful than the enchantments of a vengeful entity?  I don’t want to give any spoilers, but suffice to say that this really is a page-turner, intricate in its masterful weaving of both past and present, of the supernatural and the workings of a theatre production.  I loved the slow, suspense-laden reveal of Ellsabet’s story as the theatre production rehearses and as history is in danger of repeating itself.  Just superb!

Kallie is a wonderful young protagonist.  She is determined to not let her dyslexia hold her back from fulfilling her dream of becoming a playwright.  My heart ached for her as she burned with embarrassment at admitting to her friend Emilia that she is dyslexic, and I adored Emilia’s response which is one that I wholeheartedly agree with:

Who cares about spelling when you’re taking people on an adventure.

Whilst Kallie would rather write adventures, she finds herself living in one, finding the courage to face her fears and seek the truth with the help of her wonderfully supportive friend, Emilia. And I just have to mention Smudge – absolutely adored him!

I adored the heart-warming messages in this story:  the strength of friendship; the power of storytelling to transform and reveal; and, having the courage to follow, and fight for, your dreams.

A must-read exhilarating, captivating adventure for readers of 9+, this is one I cannot recommend highly enough.

Thank you to Anna at Hachette Children’s Group for providing me with a proof copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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