Trail of the Cursed Cobras – Barry Nugent

DODGING FACELESS DEMONS, TRYING TO SAVE THE WORLD, AND BEING HASSLED BY YOUR DEAD MUM – IT’S JUST ANOTHER SCHOOL DAY FOR BOBBY GIBSON AND ADA AMAYA.

An ill-advised short cut pulls the twelve-year-olds into a deadly plot involving secret agents, an ageless sorcerer, and an artefact of devastating power.

As the children race against time to solve the mystery, they must face their fears, outwit their foes, battle monsters born of shadow and nightmare, and make their way through traps to the heart of it all: the Apocalypse Chamber.

It’s 1982 and five kids from a North London comprehensive school are fighting the End of the World.

I’d say the odds are about even… 

Well, that was an absolute blast, and one of the most fun, enjoyable books I’ve read in a long time.

I’d spotted Trail of the Cursed Cobras via @runalongwomble’s excellent review, and the author very kindly offered to send me an ebook copy. I dove straight in, and raced through the book in a couple of hours, enjoying every minute.

Aimed at middle-grade readers (typically between 8 – 12 years old), it’s a cracking tale of adventure set in a North London comprehensive school the early 80s. Echoes of Grange Hill, mixed with a bit of the X-Files and maybe a dash of Scooby-Doo make this a properly fun read.

Regular readers may have spotted that I am not a twelve year old (though do have the sense of humour of one, apparently). However, Trail of the Cursed Cobras can be (and indeed should be) enjoyed by anyone. It’s got everything – a brilliant cast of well-formed characters (better than some ‘grown-up’ fiction, for sure), an exciting, well-plotted story with some tense action and it’s just a joy to read.

I loved the gang of kids. Ada, the super smart detective. Bobby, who still talks to his dead mum. DJ, who can get into anthing. Nikki, who loves nothing more than causing trouble and pinching lollipops from anyone. And our way into this gang, Tony, the new boy. He’s not sure he wants to be part of it, but gets drawn along with the adventure against some sorcery, mysterious government types, school bullies and more.

One of my favourite books of the year, I can highly recommend picking up a copy. And I can’t wait to find out what happened to the kids in Norfolk…

Trail of the Cursed Cobras by Barry Nugent is out now from Batten Press. You can find Barry on twitter @unseen_shadows. Huge thanks for a copy of the book to review.

Runalongwomble also has a great interview with Barry Nugent

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

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