• Mart

Sticky Pines: The Bigwoof Conspiracy

Updated: Feb 13, 2020

by Dashe Roberts

About halfway through the first chapter of The Bigwoof Conspiracy the pages start turning themselves. You’re in Sticky Pines – where things get weird – and there’s no way out. You’ll just have to keep on reading.

It’s a town with secrets to keep. People are missing. Bigwoof – a sasquatch-type creature – lurks in the forest. Alien lights appear in the sky. With all the kit she needs in her backpack, twelve-year-old Lucy Sladan is on a mission to unravel Sticky Pines’ mysteries. Unfortunately, no one believes she has seen the beast with her own eyes and when her photographic evidence is tampered with she begins to suspect the situation might be even more murky than she first thought. That’s as far as this review goes, plot-wise. No spoilers! But I will tell you that the town of Sticky Pines is original and atmospheric while Lucy is a brilliant sassy-nerdy hero. She has some ace lines, the swearing-not-swearing being particularly funny. As a matter of fact, all the book’s characters are well drawn and Lucy’s interactions with them deftly written.

With a cast that includes a purple-haired paranormal geek, a sinister sweet-factory boss, a terrifying creature, oddball hippies and a man dressed as a banana it’s not surprising other reviewers have spotted a dash of Scooby Doo in The Bigwoof Conspiracy. So far, so fab. Jinkies, Scoob, what’s not to love already? There’s a pinch of Stranger Things, too, and a smidge of X-Files. But what this book mostly resembles – for me at least – is a smart and quirky B movie: a bonkers cult classic that’s a joy to watch while stuffing a bucket of popcorn into your face. The sort of movie that leaves you grinning up at the screen as the credits roll and gagging to watch all over again.

How does it score on the Snort LOL-o-meter? Well, the humour-level fits the story perfectly without overwhelming the rollercoaster narrative. Bigwoof is woven through with screwball moments and zingy dialogue that keeps the chuckles coming.

In short, The Bigwoof Conspiracy is one of those books I would have gobbled at ages nine through twelve and it should have even the most reluctant of readers begging for more. It’s a proper caper: a forget-your-worries-because-fun-is-happening-whether-you-like-it-or-not kind of book, and I heart that. We don’t give out stars but hey, in this case, let's say tens, tens, tens across the board. My only complaint is that I’m now dangling from a cliff by my fingernails. Aaargh. How could you, Dashe Roberts!? Roll on The Thing at Black Hole Lake.

Published by Nosy Crow

Reviewer: Martin

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