Trail of the Cursed Cobras by Barry Nugent – Book Review

Trail of the Cursed Cobras by Barry Nugent – Book Review

Trail of the Cursed Cobras by Barry Nugent

Trail of the Cursed Cobras

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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.

Review by Lynsey

Sometimes you need comedy, adventure, tension and drama and you want it all at once at one hundred miles an hour so you’re almost exhausted when you’re done. Trail of the Cursed Cobras is all that and more. This is a genuinely laugh-out-loud, coming-of-age, adventure story that has you hooked from the moment Bobby gets told off whilst Errol gets extra bacon.

It’s 1982 and Bobby and Ada are friends attending the same local comp in North London. To be clear Ada is not Bobby’s rich girlfriend (despite what Bobby’s older, wiser brother thinks) – but the two do seem to manage to get themselves involved in a lot of drama. Who else but Ada would be casually taking a short-cut through a graveyard when a stranger forces a wooden box into her hand warning her that he doesn’t have much time? To be fair, he’s brave to try to take on Ava who’s a firestorm of two-fingers up and back chat to pretty much everyone – but he’s also ensured that the mystery WILL be solved as Ada’s not the type to let something this juicy go. And so the mystery begins and before you know it Bobby and Ada are facing demons, a dead mum and, quite possibly, the end of the world.

If you’ve grown up on a diet of action-adventure films then this novel is the perfect mash-up of Harrison Ford style swashbuckling and the wide-eyed enthusiasm of the Goonie kids. As an adult reader, the 1980s back drop makes you nostalgic for the days of your youth but there’s also huge appeal to kids today. The characterisation is spot-on with the use of Jamaican/Nigerian dialect bringing Auntie and others to life in a way that you can hear the voices as you read. Bobby may well hear his mum kiss her teeth and declare ‘Like me said, the boy is foolish’ but you’d be a fool indeed to underestimate Bobby and Ada when they are faced with their worst nightmares. An absolute joy of a read – just the escapism we all need.

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Barry Nugent

Barry wrote his first story at eleven, after seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark, and never looked back.

His first novel ‘Paladin’ was published in 1999. Next Barry published Unseen Shadows Book 1: Fallen Heroes, the first in a trilogy of paranormal adventure novels.

‘Unseen Shadows Book 2: Forgotten Warriors’, the follow up to Fallen Heroes, was launched last year and Barry is currently working on the third part of the series.

Barry is also one of the hosts of the long running pop culture podcast Geek Syndicate. During this time Barry has hosted a number of convention panels around the country which led to him co-hosting two documentaries for BBC iPlayer.

Barry is also the driving force behind Unseen Shadows, a transmedia project created to expand the world of the Unseen Shadows novel series. To date, as part of this project, fourteen comics and an audio drama have been published.

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