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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Don't Hold Your Breath (Masterminds Incorporated) by Chad Lee Erway is a creepy-in-a-good-way children's horror novel that will keep young readers and older entertained from start to finish. Wolverton is a place where creatures and mysteries live. Creatures like merfolk, goblins, three-headed dogs among others. Belmar Todjäger is the school groundskeeper, and his disappearance sparks a deeper look into the monsters that dwell in Craven Point. A questionable town council member lurks in the shadows as well, who wants the Mastermind’s Monsters Library. Shelby Anatoli is the one who leads the gang in this mission, and it will indeed take a Mastermind to get to the bottom of it all.
Erway creates just the right amount of mystery, suspense, and surprises in this enjoyable read. He knows his young audience well and delivers a good plot, interesting characters, fresh dialogue, and a lot of unexpected twists and turns. Young readers will be hooked on the first few pages because this author gets into the heart of the creatures pretty quickly. I like the energetic feel of the writing, descriptions, and actions of the critters, as well as the natural personalities of the characters as they react to everything going on. The characters do seem like real kids rather than characters an adult is writing about. Three-dimensional characters are what you want in a creature feature book, and Erway delivers. I also like that the story is told in first-person POV, which intensifies things and makes it more personal. Whether this is your first time reading Chad Lee Erway or if you've read his other works, you'll become an instant fan with Don't Hold Your Breath (Masterminds Incorporated).