‘Cait, are you still there?’ I could hear breathing on the other end of the phone, but Cait’s voice had disappeared, cut off halfway through a sentence. ‘Hello?’ It was dark outside, late on the night before school camp, and I had a bad feeling in my gut that was cutting like knives. I was supposed to be packing shirts and shoes and lucky charms to take to camp, but I hadn’t even opened my case.
Miku and her class are off on school camp, and she should be revelling in time away and no homework. But something’s wrong. She can smell it, she can feel it. Cait, who believed her and helped her in her first brush with Japanese demons, is acting oddly. For a start she claims to have no knowledge of the demons they fought so recently. Before they even reach the camp, an ancient man appears and offers a treat to one of their classmates. Miku struggles to make anyone believe they are all in danger. Not even Cait seems to understand the urgency. But there’s no way Miku is going to be able to best the demons on her own. Help, when it finally comes, is from unexpected quarters.
The Filth Licker is the second instalment in the Takeshita Demon series from Cristy Burne and the action proceeds at breakneck pace as it does in the first adventure. They feature demons from Japanese mythology who have for some reason followed Miku and her family in their move from Japan to London. Miku is assisted in her fighting of the demons by remembering the stories told her by her grandmother. In Japan, they were protected from the demons by her grandmother and by a house ghost, but in England their protection seems to have vanished. Miku is a clear-thinking and resourceful demon fighter, who must often fight alone. The demons are clever and resourceful, but always there is a way to overcome them. The disgustingly-named Filth Licker is just one of them! Recommended for upper primary readers.
Takeshita Demons 2: The Filth Licker, Cristy Burne
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books 2011
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author