The S.C.R.E.A.M books first caught my attention because of the young lady on the front covers in a wheelchair; I repeat, there is a girl in a wheelchair on the cover of not one, but TWO books. Quite frankly, the plot of this book could have been awful & I still would be raving about it because the disability rep was incredible… thankfully, the plot was also really good too & I actually really enjoyed reading The Mummy’s Revenge (I haven’t yet read Carnival of Monsters but I will be very soon)!
The S.C.R.E.A.M series follows two detectives who work for the London police; but these aren’t your ordinary police officers… instead, they are both children; one of whom is from a family of criminals… whom also happens to be able to contact the spirit realm. The other is from a very posh family… she also happens to be disabled, and incredibly intelligent. The Mummy’s Revenge is the first book in this series & in it our two main characters, Billy Flint & Charley Steel are sent to Scotland to investigate a case of an Egyptian Mummy gone rogue. The book is full of action, mystery, humour & did I mention, amazing disability rep?!
As you can tell, I approved of the disability representation in this book so I’m going to make it the first thing I discuss (I promise to talk about the rest of the book afterwards). Young Charley who suffers with polio, something that is announced by her very briefly within the book, is in a wheelchair & DAMN does she own her disability! Charley was unbelievably sassy & shut down everyone who dared to stare or comment on her illness; it was so empowering to read & I felt like I saw a little bit of myself in her – something which has never happened before in regards to my physical health.
Charley wasn’t written to be some kind of superhero though, Andrew also did an incredible job of making it clear that Charley may own her disability, but it also owns her a little bit too – on more than one occasion Charley’s pain was mentioned & it actually got more severe as their trip to Scotland continued. It was really nice to read about a character who is getting on with her job, whilst dealing with increasing levels of pain as she does more & more, without much rest. Charley felt very real to me, in a way that no other character ever has done & even though I’m almost 22, this middle grade book is incredibly important to me.
In my notes I wrote, “Such incredible disability rep by any age group’s standards! Charley isn’t ashamed & reacts to ableism with humour, dignity & class” & that pretty much sum’s it up perfectly. Thank you so much Andrew for this incredible character, I can’t wait to read more about her!
Okay okay okay, I’ll rave about the rest of the book too! Give me a chance!
The plot line of this book was brilliantly creative, I loved the idea of a Mummy coming to life after being removed from it’s tomb because it brings in a little bit of Egyptian mythology, but also because it teaches readers that we shouldn’t always meddle in things so ancient! The plot was also hilarious, & I laughed a lot all throughout the book. Billy is soooo sarcastic & constantly says things that he really shouldn’t; thankfully Charley is there to keep him in check & she manages to stop him being too rude (most of the time).
I actually really loved the relationship between Billy & Charley as well; they balanced each other really well & there’s obviously a lot of respect between them… I’m really hoping that their relationship stays platonic because it would be a shame to tarnish their amazing friendship (a little bit of me also hopes that Charley is gay). I also liked how well they worked together & I really appreciated that Charley, the female character, is the one who does all of the science-y stuff! I haven’t said this yet, but the book is set in the Victorian times so having such a strong female lead character was fabulous.
Despite my lack of mentioning it, the Victorian theme radiated throughout the entire book, & the use of zebras instead of horses is so beautifully British that it just had to be in the book! It’s exactly the type of thing that Victorians would have done in this country & it lightly makes fun of our history, which was really enjoyable. I don’t think this story could have worked in modern times, as it just fit in so well with the era & as someone who loves history, it makes me so happy that we have a strong disabled character in a historical period, who is also female & incredibly intelligent.
The mystery of the plot was something else that was done really well; I did pick up on the mystery behind the Mummy before it was revealed in the book, but this didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story at all… plus, I am a lot older than the intended audience & I’m sure it’ll keep younger readers guessing. I liked how many layers there were to the plot & how things just kept going wrong; I also liked that everything just made sense & there was nothing that happened that was pointless or unnecessary. Andrew made great use of the pages he was allowed to publish & I’m so pleased for him.
This book was just so perfect, I didn’t write down a single criticism in my notes & I’m so pleased that Usborne picked up on Andrew’s talent, because books like this really matter. In the rest of the series I would love to see some more diversity, maybe with some people of colour, but I also want lots more creepy plot lines & fun mysteries! I can’t wait to pick up Carnival of Monsters.
If you fancy ordering the book you can do so using the links below! The UK Amazon link & the Book Depository links will, when used to buy the book, result in me getting a small fee for the promotion so please consider using them!
Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | Book Depository