Monday, 9 August 2010

Review: The Badness of Ballydog by Garrett Carr

The Badness of Ballydog by Garrett Carr
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Released: September 7th 2009
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Something is coming...something big. May knows it, but no one will listen to her. She is an outcast due to her odd ways and freakish ability with animals. Andrew knows it, but he has his position as gang leader to maintain. Ewan knows it, but what can he do? The sea creature is the biggest living thing on the face of the earth. And it won't stop until it has destroyed Ballydog. Can three teenagers save the baddest town in the world from its fate? Is it even worth saving? (from Amazon)

The Badness of Ballydog focuses on three young teenagers and their lives in the small town of Ballydog. The book begins with Ewan moving to Ballydog from Northern Ireland as part of the witness protection program. He doesn’t fit in with his classmates at school, but he’s not the only one. May can speak to animals, and they’ve been telling her something bad is coming to town. But with everyone she knows thinking she’s “soft in the head” who will believe her? Andrew has been having nightmares, and finds himself drawing ominous pictures of a monstrous creature he’s never seen before, except in his dreams. Even his gang members have started to question his odd behaviour. Is Ballydog really in danger? And if so, what can these three kids do about it?

The Badness of Ballydog is a page-turning read full of adventure and action. The description allows you to picture everything clearly in your head like a movie, and it’s almost as if you’re right there in Ballydog with the characters. Though some of the language takes a bit of getting used to, it really adds to the setting and helps make the characters seem realistic and current. I liked how each character was introduced separately, with separate focus on each person’s back-story. One thing I wish we knew more about was Ewan’s father and why the family were forced to move, but I’m sure more will be revealed about this in the sequel, Lost Dogs.

My favourite part was the introduction of Alexander Bam Brilski Teodors, aka The Hunter. He was funny and witty and the three teenagers just didn’t know what to make of him. I also liked the seeing the friendship develop between Andrew and Ewan and May. The Badness of Ballydog is a book full of wit, suspense and great one-liners, and is based on an interesting and original concept. There are quite a few sort sentences, so the writing can seem a little choppy at times, but I thought it was a very engaging novel.

In conclusion, I enjoyed The Badness of Ballydog and would recommend it for ages 8-12 and younger teens. I look forward to read the next book in the series.


  1. I really like this cover. Good review, it sounds like something I might enjoy.

  2. A fantastic, gripping book for kids or teenagers, but with enough grit and depth for adults to thoroughly enjoy. I loved it, couldn't put it down and then gave it to my son who loved it and couldn't put it down too. Can't wait for the second book.

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