The Poison Boy – Fletcher Moss

Poison boy Dalton Fly, a lowly food taster to the rich, has a lucky escape after drinking laced wine. But his mate is less fortunate, and Dalton wants answers. Who murdered his friend and what were they were really after? With the help of aristocratic girl, Scarlet Dropmore, whose life he unwittingly saved, he sets out to rescue his city from the poisoners within.

Book Trailer

Extract from the Poison Boy

Interview with Fletcher Moss

Author Website

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17 thoughts on “The Poison Boy – Fletcher Moss

  1. I did not enjoy the beginning of this book because I thought nothing really happened and it was quite slow, but the book got much better as Dalton and Scarlet became better friends. I enjoyed the message in this book that anyone can be friends; it doesn’t matter what background you are from.


  2. I enjoyed this book overall. It was a great story brought to life with lots of detail. At first I was rather bored because there were so many loose threads and I couldn’t get into it. Once the main characters had started their mission, however, I loved it and I liked the town plan which helped me follow the action and picture where things were.
    I wouldn’t give it full marks because I had to work so hard at the start.
    Rebekah Hudson, Y6

  3. I really liked this book. The plot was cleverly planned and, near the end, I just couldn’t put the book down! The descriptions of people and places were really good. I could almost smell them.
    The ending was clever, one cliff hanger after another but I was annoyed that I never found out who became duke and whether Scarlett and Dalton got together. I liked the way Scarlett’s and Dalton’s roles were reversed at the very end, this time with Dalton caught in the bath. That was funny.
    On the down side, there were bits that I found hard to understand and where I felt that things were missing or I had missed them – I don’t know how or why. I had to go back to the beginning to understand it better the second time through.
    Amy Duggan, Y7

  4. I thought this was a very good book because it was full of action and loose ends that needed tying up. I found it quite hard to get into because there seemed to be so many different scenes leading in different directions which didn’t add up until about a quarter the way through.
    I would have liked the story to continue for a few pages more, just to find out who became Duke. It was really irritating to get this far and not know! I liked the way that all the loose ends came together at the end so the whole poisoning scenario made sense.
    Poison Boy is a real page-turner.
    Grace Coffey, Y6

  5. This story follows the adventures of Dalton Fly, a low class orphan working as a food taster for the rich. One day, he drinks poisoned wine and wakes up next to the body of his friend to find people pursuing him but he doesn’t know why! He soon discovers that a spate of recent poisonings in the city is linked to the sentaways – children of the city’s aristocratic rulers sent into hiding for their own safety. He determines to avenge the murder of his friend and get to the bottom of the mystery.
    I had imagined from the cover and blurb that this book would be set in the future and was amazed to find it set in the past. I found the first quarter a struggle and consequently quite dull to read. However, as the plot unfolded I began to find it increasingly exciting. The interaction of the sentaways was very entertaining and I especially like Luke, who was very loud and opinionated but surprisingly loyal to her friends.
    The description of the different poisons and their effects was absolutely fascinating and sounded really authentic. I could almost feel Dalton’s pain when he was poisoned and actually believed that he might not recover! Once I was gripped, it was hard to put the book down. I felt the characters were under a constant cloud – who was going to die next?
    Overall, this is a great story with memorable characters, good and bad, and a really interesting plot but I found the end disappointing. I like to have a clear idea – even if it’s only a hint – of what will happen next. Yes, Dalton and Scarlett survived but when I’ve come so far with them, it’s not fair to leave it at that!
    Kathleen Swinglehurst, Y8

  6. I thought this was a brilliant book! My favourite character was Luke because she’s not prepared to conform to society’s expectations. The plot twist was ever so slightly predictable – they had to win didn’t they – but satisfying and exciting all the same! I liked how at the end Scarlett and Dalton met in each other just like at the beginning but their feelings for each other were different.
    Katy Halliford, Y7

  7. Poison Boy is a thrilling novel with adventure, mystery and just a hint of romance. The male protagonist, Dalton Fly, comes round to find himself covered with blood and spit and his best friend horribly dead by his side. He manages to get an antidote to the poison that has caused this, then vows to avenge his friend. The next thing you know he’s on the run and helped by a girl in a bathtub who’s just survived a murderous attack at her 18th birthday party! Before you know it, Dalton and the girl are running round, saving people from being poisoned or worse and getting nearer to discovering the big mystery: who killed the Duke?
    I enjoyed this book. It’s fast- paced and can leave you behind and breathless but it’s worth the effort.
    Caitlin Love, Y7

  8. I thought the beginning was rather dull but once the action started, I was engrossed. Overall, a very decent story.
    Lana Moat, Y7

  9. I found Poison Boy very difficult to get into as the beginning has several different characters and I got confused. I thought the plot was alright and I’m sure that people who like adventure stories would think it amazing, but I’m not one of them. I did like the way that Dalton met Scarlett at the beginning of the book when she was having a bath and their roles were reversed at the end. That really amused me. I also liked some of the characters but this book wasn’t really for me.
    Rosie Bowden, Y7

  10. I think this story was exciting but at the beginning it was very hard to follow. There seemed to be so many different things going on in lots of different places. As I got further into the story, the plot took a definite direction and I started to get interested. I think it might have been easier to understand if it had been narrated by Dalton. He’s a great risky and daring character. I would have liked a postscript to tell us what happens to all Dalton’s friends and who becomes Duke.
    Stephanie Shek, Y6

  11. Judging from the cover, I thought that this book would be for boys- the cover suggests ‘gory, bloody, mysterious’. I honestly felt like this book would not be my department! Every one of our group who’d read it told me that it would be boring at the start but absolutely tremendous by the time it was over. I wanted to get into it!
    However, when I finished Chapter 2, I didn’t like the idea of this book because I felt that it was too boring- for me, anyway! I wanted to like it but I just couldn’t… Soon I got used to it and liked the theme of the story; I thought I was getting somewhere.

    I have to give my experience a little cliffhanger ending because I didn’t finish it. I would obviously love to, but I had a few more books to read and I was spending way too much time on it. I just put it away and really got stuck in to another one!

    I honestly loved it at the end of Chapter 8, but I guess this book was just not for me. I would, however, want to congratulate Fletcher Moss for his effort in this book I know how hard it is to get a book like this together!

    By Maisha

  12. The language is a bit strange (e.g Kite ahnd dreck) but its good
    when you understand it. Overall it is a very good book 🙂
    Ben, Y7
    Richard Coates Middle School

  13. This has a very clever plot and an exciting twist at the end. It explains things in brilliant detail:)

    Declan YR7
    Richard Coates C of E Middle School

  14. I really liked this book because, as well as a mystery, there was friendship, betrayal, greed and action. I enjoyed the whole story and found it not in the least predictable. Dalton, Scarlett and Sal were great characters and Luke was quite amusing. Did anyone else suspect that Luke couldn’t be trusted? I was really taken in there!
    Ironically, I don’t think I would have given this book a second glance if I’d come across it in a bookshop because the cover is misleading and off-putting. It doesn’t do the story justice at all so I’m very glad it was shortlisted for NEBA or I’d never have read it!
    Publishers take note!! Amy Walker, Y8

  15. At first not knowing who was who was unsettling but after a few pages, I discovered that I liked this style and being left to work things out for myself. One of the best aspects of this book was learning about how the different poisons worked and reading detailed descriptions of their effects. There was just the right amount of goriness and it was all linked to the plot, which was clever. I did find bits of the plot quite predictable but the ending was inconclusive as we never actually find out whether Dalton becomes Duke. I did like the way Dalton met Scarlett while she was having a bath at the beginning and the story ended with their roles reversed. I think this book is well worth the effort of reading and I loved the humour and gory bits.
    Tom Colvin, Y8

  16. I enjoyed this book and found the plot and setting very interesting but would really like to have been told who ruled the city in the end.
    My favourite part was the episode with the barrel. I think Poison Boy would make a good first novel in a series. I would definitely buy all the books!
    Martha Hornett, Y6

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