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The Eyeball Collector has got it all. A villain as dastardly as Count Olaf, with an eyepatch and multiple disguises. An orphan straight out of a Dickens novel with thieving compatriots reminiscent of the Artful Dodger and company. A cold and imperious noble, Lady Mandible, who has mysterious plans of her own. A spine-shivery, gothic atmosphere tinged with menace. At first I saw nothing.

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The moon was behind the swollen clouds and the sheeting Murder Eyeballs Puzzling riddles Leeches The moon was behind the swollen clouds and the sheeting rain made everything blurry. In its white light, my disbelieving eyes saw a vast jagged silhouette stretching across a broad mountainous outcrop like a diabolical gathering of crouching devils. Their horns were the towers and the light burning in the windows their evil red eyes. This behemoth before me was Whittypitts Hall. It's not too late.

Another gift, one for cultivating rare butterflies, lands him in luxurious Whittypitts Hall, close enough to exact revenge on the man he blames for his father's death, Baron Bovrik de Vandolin. However, these gifts and his desire for revenge also puts him in harm's way, for there are evil doings happening in Whittypitts Hall, centered around the enigmatic Lady Mandible.

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Hector plots to exact revenge on the night of the Mandible Midwinter Feast, but his plans threaten to go awry when Lady Mandible and Baron Bovrik's terrible secrets are revealed Every time I think I have seen the worst this abominable place has to offer, I am proved wrong. As for the despicable man who plays at Baron, I can hardly wait until the feast is over and my task completed.

Then I shall be gone from here, for I swear, if I have to stay a moment longer I fear for my sanity and my character. What goes on during the Mandible Midwinter Feast is memorable, not only because the plot climaxes at this point, but also for the truly awful feast that commences. I am specially attuned to food description in books and this one made me naseous. If I ever compile a list of the best of the worst food scenes, this will be the very first to come to mind.


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The revelers, each and every one, ate as if there was no tomorrow. What a feast it was! As fast as a pitcher of wine or a plate of food was brought out, it was emptied and another was demanded. Up and down the length of the table gaping mouths and drooling, dribbling chins were the order of the day, and the beleaguered servers were grabbed by one fellow and tugged by another until their tunics were practically torn asunder.

He watched the guests feed, hand to plate to mouth, hand to plate to mouth, in a ceaseless repetition. Dormouse tails apparently particularly delicious dangled from their lips; entire sparrows dropped into their gaping maws; fat plums and cherries ready to burst were forced into their mouths until the juices squirted in all directions.

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This was not hunger, this was sheer unadulterated gluttony. I haven't read the other two but I soon will! The Eyeball Collector is a well-written, intelligent book with gothic suspense for middle grade to young adults. Best of all, it has riddling conundrums sprinkled throughout like little treats with answers in the back of the book.

There is some violence. Oct 15, Karissa rated it really liked it. This is the third book in Higgins Tales from the Sinister City series.

All of these tales are separate stories, but the characters do have some cross over from book to book. I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as the first two books, but it was still a wonderful story. Unlike previous stories this story didn't really have any element of magic to it; it was a creepy and fun historical mystery with a heavy Victorian overtone to it.

Hector is the son on a wealthy wine merchant. He has led a life of privledge, only occasionally touring the destitute south side of the city which he finds kind of exciting. When his father's business is ruined because of his father's shady past in gin selling and his father perishes; Hector suddenly finds himself destitute and living in the horrible South side of the city. He is taken in by a nice woman and her husband but has sworn revenge on the man who ruined his father.

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When the very man who ruins his father hires Hector for his knowledge of butterflies Hector is given the perfect opporunity for his revenge. This book wasn't as dark as the previous books, but it was still a pretty dark story. The majority of the characters are very realistic and flawed, at times they are not all that likable but they are always interesting.

I loved all the knowledge Hector had about butterflies and poisons; it was fun to read about. I loved how characters from previous books are woven into small roles in this story. Higgins does an excellent job painting a dark and creepy atmosphere. It is easy to visualize the surroundings. While the characters don't have a ton of depth to them, they are all very quirky and interesting.

The plot moved quickly and had some interesting twists and turns. I love the plan Hector comes up with for revenge; it is so creative, so elegant, yet kind of twisted. The concept of how revenge can twist a person is discussed and it was well done; yeah this is a theme that's been used many time in many stories before but it really works for this story and has a lot of creative elements to it. Overall I really enjoyed this book, although not as much as previous ones. I didn't click as well with Hector as I have with the lead characters in the previous two books.

I still loved the twisted and dark Sinister City, the quirky characters, and the creative turns the plot took. This is an excellent book for middle grade and older. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series, The Lunatic's Curse. Sep 09, Rickey Russell rated it liked it. The Eyeball Collector was a discount read.


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I found it in one of my local retail chains very cheap so I bought it. Mostly because of the title and the cool design of the book cover. I had never heard of this series and after reading it discovered it was part of a preteen novel series aimed at getting young boys to read. Here is something I have learned over the years, A good story is a good story. I have enjoyed many a book that is aimed at younger audiences. The Eyeball Collector is a good story. It is a period story that takes place in a time of powdered wigs, decadence, and a strong division between those who have and those who have not.

Higgins somehow manages to weave stories that feel almost familiar and yet new and wondrous at the same time. This is part of a young adventure series but I can guarantee after reading this book that you do not have to have read earlier novels or be familiar with the author to enjoy this book.

The Bone Magician (Tales from the Sinister City, book 2) by F E Higgins

The Eyeball Collector is a steady journey from a simple life of leisure as enjoyed by aristocratic families into a moderate spiral into chaos and re-adjustment for a young boy after the death of his father due to a blackmailer. The characters are defined enough that you can feel invested in them but do not go as deep into their character nature as an adult novel would but that is intended to keep the attention of the younger reader. However there is enough here that the characters come alive with intrigue and mystery. However if anything from the periods of Sherlock Holmes back to the time of Powdered wigs are part of your weekly reading or viewing pleasure then this novel will suit you well.

The story is simple yet entertaining with mild dramatic points that are comparable to a family approved rating so there are no salacious or crude material with the pages. It is a journey of a boy who starts out to seek revenge but along the way finds a better way to deal with his new circumstances and reaches a goal of resolution with positive outcomes.

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The Eyeball Collector tells a fascinating story of a time when things seemed almost mystical and truly fanciful. I would not have set out to read the book knowing the principles for which it was written but having read the book I found it a pleasurable fast read that was well worth my two dollars. Jul 04, Becky rated it liked it.

This is another book that I have had on my shelves for years but never got round to reading so when I needed something to listen to next in my car and I saw this on the shelf at the library I thought I might as well listen to it instead. The narrator wasn't bad, he wasn't as gripping as some of the others I've heard and he did a really silly accent for one of the characters which threw me off everytime he spoke but other than that he does quite a good job.

This story follows Hector as he journeys This is another book that I have had on my shelves for years but never got round to reading so when I needed something to listen to next in my car and I saw this on the shelf at the library I thought I might as well listen to it instead. This story follows Hector as he journeys to try and get revenge on a man with a glass eye. This man blackmailed his father and ran his company into the ground. Having to give up his business and his precious butterfly collection pretty much finishes Hector's Dad off, so Hector want to make this man pay for what he has done.

His journey takes him to the South side of the bridge, life is harder over there and he ends up in a house for abandoned boys with lots of other kids, sort of street urchins. But then he bumps into the mysterious man with the glass eye and Hector takes his chance and ends up going back with him to Withypitts hall. But is revenge the best idea, as more strange events and mysteries occur Hector starts to wonder if this is what he really wants.

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To be honest this book had a pretty good concept and was good enough to make me want to know how it ended but I wasn't hooked. I kept realising that I had lost focus and missed a bit of the story but I was never bothered enough to go back and listen to it again and I don't think I missed that much of importance. For me the story was just a bit too drawn out, I kept waiting for some action or revelation from Hector but it didn't come.

He also has a phrase that he says when something goes wrong which at first was quite sweet but then it just got a bit annoying to me.