The Cat’s Maw by Brooke Burgess

The Cat’s Maw by Brooke Burgessthree-half-stars

The Cat's Maw Series: The Shadowland Saga #1
on September 17, 2014
Pages: 280

I received this book for free from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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From award-winning storyteller Brooke Burgess (Broken Saints) comes a haunting, touching, and inspired children's fiction debut -- THE CAT'S MAW -- the first volume in a contemporary fantasy-mystery epic for brave young readers.


In the sleepy town of Appleton, a young loner follows a stray cat onto the road and is struck by a car. A leg is shattered, a summer is ruined, and the troubled life of Billy Brahm goes from cursed.

When the mysterious cat appears at his bedside, Billy is haunted by strange and prophetic dreams -- the creatures in them speak of Watchers, and Shadows, and the Enemy that Awakens.

Does this impossible realm hold the key to healing the broken boy? Is the golden-eyed cat there to help him...or to make the nightmares come true? Too frightened to share the truth with his strict adoptive parents, Billy realizes that the only ones he can turn to are the local vet's daughter, the town's 'crazy cat lady'...

...and a mystical tiger, beckoning from his dreams.

*This first edition includes more than 20 ORIGINAL ILLUSTRATIONS by Sara Machajewski, along with an EXCLUSIVE BOOK 2 PREVIEW.*

My Review

My first children’s fiction from NetGalley!

I’m on a new adventure with a solo book review blog. I’ve been reviewing romance novels for almost a year, but wanted to stretch my wings, leave the group-blog nest, and FLY!

I have a family tradition of reading aloud a chapter from a book every single night to my husband, teen, and tween. It’s difficult to find books that appeal to all those ears, but this little gem fell right in my lap.

I asked each member of the family to rate the book:

  • Me: Three stars
  • Hubby: Too busy, ask me later. 🙂 Okay, NEXT. LOL!
  • Teen Son: Three stars
  • Tween Daughter: Four stars

I believe with all my heart that my daughter would have given it five stars, but she’s sensitive to swear words, and there were WAY too many, even the hint of an f-bomb, which I don’t believe belongs in “Children’s Fiction” at all, let alone to the extent it was used here. Label the book Teen or YA if there are swear words. My daughter is 12 and reads Stephen King, so, yeah, she reads swears a lot, but EXPECTS them in an adult book, so she can gloss right over, and even tell me they seem necessary to the character.

I gave it three stars myself because I get confused easily when an author waxes on and on with poetic words. I didn’t get it. That might say more about me than the book itself. 😉 Let me just say, I want to punch that boy’s mother in the throat, mother to mother. She totally sucks as a person, but especially as a mother. I had no sympathy for her whatsoever.

Overall, we’re giving it 3.5 stars, and just might read the next book in the series. Recommended for those who enjoy a TEEN story through the eyes of a 10-year-old boy and his mysterious cat. It’s magical, paranormal, and thrilling at times.


About Brooke Burgess

BROOKE BURGESS began his media career producing best-selling titles for software giant Electronic Arts Canada. After several years in the videogame trenches, he set off to create the acclaimed and award-winning web saga ‘BROKEN SAINTS’. Seen by millions of viewers worldwide, the 4-DVD/24-part epic is considered by many to be the ‘father of motion comics.’

The series went on to secure the prestigious Audience Award at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, along with Canadian New Media Producer of the Year for Burgess in 2005 and global DVD distribution with 20th Century FOX in 2006. (featured on Amazon). Since that time, Brooke has gone on to write and consult on all things related to the bold new world of ‘transmedia storytelling’, while shepherding original properties through videogame, graphic novel, prose, and live-action development.

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