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The Cat's Maw

The Cat's Maw

4.2 5
by Brooke Burgess

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A BOY. A CAT. A NIGHTMARE IN TWO WORLDS! If modern-day Narnia had a dark side, as written by the love-child of Stephen King and Neil Gaiman? Then you'd have THE CAT'S MAW -- the award-winning Mystery/Fantasy/Horror debut from BROOKE BURGESS -- for brave young readers, and cat lovers of all ages! ***WINNER*** BEST YA MYSTERY 2015 -- Gelett Burgess Awards SILVER


A BOY. A CAT. A NIGHTMARE IN TWO WORLDS! If modern-day Narnia had a dark side, as written by the love-child of Stephen King and Neil Gaiman? Then you'd have THE CAT'S MAW -- the award-winning Mystery/Fantasy/Horror debut from BROOKE BURGESS -- for brave young readers, and cat lovers of all ages! ***WINNER*** BEST YA MYSTERY 2015 -- Gelett Burgess Awards SILVER MEDAL (Pre-Teen) 2015 -- Moonbeam Awards TOP SHELF HONOREE 2015 -- VOYA Magazine (Middle Grade) 'Top 100 Children's Books to Read in a Lifetime -- GOODREADS 'One of 8 Great Novels Starring Cats' -- CATSTER -- SYNOPSIS -- 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! (includes 20 stunning pen-and-ink illustrations by COLIN MOORE, along with an exclusive BOOK 2 Preview!)

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
In Burgess' (Becoming, 2012) YA fantasy, a boy's life is transformed when he meets a cat with golden eyes.Ten-year-old Billy Brahm lives in the rural town of Appleton with his adoptive parents. He's brilliant but also happens to be friendless and accident-prone. When summer starts, he searches for companionship across the road on Mrs. Thomas' property. There, countless cats prowl. He follows a black-and-white tabby with penetrating golden eyes to the roadside—but Billy's hit by a car! His leg ends up in a full cast, and Mrs. Thomas suggests that having a friend nearby—the tabby—will help him heal. Billy's parents reluctantly agree. While medicated and healing, he has a series of powerful dreams featuring the hideous Grey Man, who tells him: "The KEY is close. The GATE shall open." The spirit also curses Billy, which, after he's attacked by wasps, seems like no idle threat. Over the summer, the boy has fateful encounters with a local veterinarian, Mr. Jessome, and his lovely daughter, Lynn, as well as with a bookmobile and a terrifying birthday clown. The dreams continue, too, leading Billy closer to a destiny tied to a worrisome secret kept by his parents. Debut author Burgess pours his love for felines to the very brim. He treats readers to cat science, including the theory that, in terms of problem-solving, they are "the mental equivalent of a three-year-old." There's also incredibly lovely prose to be found: "The glare of afternoon sun made its pupils shrink to needles floating in jars of oily gold." In general, though, Burgess may have written a story too subtle for younger teen audiences. Billy's parents covet information with a crafty menace typically seen in adult thrillers. The emotional payoff, while substantial, happens very late in the tale and is awash in supernatural symbols. Occasionally, purple prose creeps in, as when "the sun burst free from the earth." Nevertheless, Burgess leaves readers clawing for the sequel.Kids will enjoy it; adults will love it.

Product Details

Publication date:
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
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File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

BROOKE BURGESS was born in a tiny town on the eastern coast of Canada. After a youth filled with comic books, animation, and video games, he went on to receive acclaim for writing, producing, and contributing to groundbreaking interactive and multi-platform story projects.

Cats had a presence in his home from the very beginning, quickly becoming his siblings, friends, and (benevolent) masters, and playing a role in many of his future works. Similarly, an old graveyard on a nearby hill was a real (and beautiful) thing in Brooke's youth, which probably influenced his love of scary stories.

Brooke has written for videogames, animation, comic books, and film. He loves mythology, travel, really good TV, and frozen yogurt.

Many of the events in his work (dream sequences included) actually happened.

THE CAT'S MAW is Brooke's first novel.

You can learn more at www.brookeburgess.com

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The Cat's Maw 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
BookLoversLife1 More than 1 year ago
When Billy gets run over by a car, his prognosis isn't good. His leg is badly injured and it may not heal. Now Billy has always been plagued with bad luck but this is the worst thing to ever happen him. He is down in the dumps when a cat suddenly appears. The cat makes Billy feel better and he begs his mother to let him keep it. From that moment on, Billys life is changed forever. He is set on a quest to lift the Curse of his bad luck. Along with voices that promise him healing if he can open the gate, and the Vets daughter, can Billy figure out what is happening to his quiet life? This was not at all what I expected, in a good way. This was such a fast paced and fun book.  My heart broke for poor Billy. He is cursed with bad luck and has no real friends. Yet he is such a sweetheart!! He is bullied by a neighbours kid and has pranks played on him all the time, yet it doesn't dampen his spirit. I so wanted to grab Billy in a hug!!! He is such a lovable character!! The plot of The Cat's Maw was so fast paced and entertaining that I flew through the pages. I'm not much of a cat person but I always enjoy a great story!!  The Cat's Maw is packed with great writing and even better story telling. I enjoyed finding out about Watchers, Shadows, and the Enemy that Awakens, it was all very intriguing.  While at times this does pull on the heart strings, there is still some laugh out loud moments courtesy of Billy. There is also some pretty tense moments concerning him too!!  Anyway, this was a tense and thrilling read and one I'm glad I got the chance to read. There is a lot left unanswered so I will definitely pick up the next to see if they are answered because I want to know what was the cursed cargo at the start and who is the Gray Man at the end??  In all a wonderfully written and adventurous read! 
WolfFaerie17 More than 1 year ago
LibraryThing Book Review~ Billy Brahm has been accident prone his entire life and beginning to wonder if he's cursed. Billy's adoptive parents don't understand him at all. Enid Thomas accepts Billy as is and knows that he'll find his path sooner rather than later. When a cat adopts Billy much to his mother's dismay yet can clearly see that Billy is happy. Billy has been having strange dreams yet doesn't know what they mean. Will Billy discover the mystery about cats? Will he find his path? Your answers await you in The Cat's Maw. This new to me author showcased a great story and characters that you couldn't help but love. The characters are real, honest, raw, down to earth, and bit flighty too. The story brings out the past weaving it into the present which is compelling and fascinating. I look forward to more from this author in the future.
Cheryl_Montgomery-Nolan More than 1 year ago
I loved this first book in a series called "The Shadowland Saga". It is about an injured boy coming of age and is like a tale from the "dark side" got mixed up in the 60's. It is very suspenseful, and I can't wait to read what comes next!
BookwormforKids More than 1 year ago
This is definitely a book for young readers who love cats - they'll fall in love with this story from the first page on. As to all other readers, they'll be pulled into a mystical, exciting tale that won't let go. The main character has a tough time with life; he's a bit prone to accidents and bad luck tends to peek in on him more than naught. He doesn't have a lot of friends and in attempt to keep him from totally falling into the anti-social abyss, his mom sends him out the door to "find friends". That he gets hit by a car, immediately pulls at the heart strings. Yep, Billy is a unlikely hero, which will automatically draw reader's sympathy. When cats come to his rescue, it's almost impossible not to fall into this intriguing world. The story keeps the reader on the edge of the seat. Some scenes are a bit gruesome, something I'd rather my own children didn't read, so that's why I'd definitely recommend this to someone first over ten. But this high suspense does keep these slightly older readers turning the pages and is guaranteed to keep them reading until the middle of the night. The writing is well-done and the dialogue believable. There were times that the story bounced around a bit (especially in the beginning), but all in all it created a dark atmosphere, which lures to suspense. In other words, grab the flashlight and blanket because this is a story which will make upper middle graders who love suspense (and cats) ignore their bedtime curfew. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite The Cat’s Maw is a fantasy/mystery for preteens by Brooke Burgess. Billy Brahm is a lonely young boy who lives with his parents. He is extremely accident prone and always manages to seriously injure himself. This frustrates his parents who think he is just as weird as others perceive him to be. Billy adopts an odd cat and begins having bizarre dreams. He has conversations with cats and other strange creatures. They urge him to look for a key that will unlock a mystery, but no one believes Billy, except the vet’s daughter and his elderly neighbour, Mrs. Thomas, who owns dozens of cats. The tiger in Billy’s dreams keeps haunting him. He, in turn, annoys his parents with regular disappearing acts, while following the eerie voices he hears. I find The Cat’s Maw by Brooke Burgess suspenseful, but a little slow paced. The prologue is intriguing and the story an imaginative one, but it takes a while to get to the core of the plot. Brooke Burgess elaborates a lot on Billy’s accidents and oddities and this took up most of the pages, with a few scattered clues to guide the protagonist and reader to understand what the mystery is really about. It only comes together at the conclusion of the story. Billy’s parents act normal, given the circumstances and child they have. If you prefer reading fantasy stories that tends to be a little eerie, then you will certainly like The Cat’s Maw with its nice illustrations and book cover.