Short and atmospheric, this first in a projected trilogy follows a boy who can see ghosts and the cruel, hungry creature that hunts him.
Callum lives in a cottage with his no-nonsense Gran in Nether Marlock, a mostly abandoned village separated from the small English town of Marlock by a deep, dark Wood. He has always been able to see ghosts, but as the story opens, Callum senses a more sinister presence. As he begins having gruesome premonitions and psychic nightmares, Callum attracts the interest of “that ridiculous New Age girl, Melissa Roper,” a schoolmate with henna tattoos and protective crucifix necklaces, and the two team up to fight both mundane bullies and supernatural evil. Meanwhile, the Hunter seeks its prey, and short chapters from its point of view express both its hunger and the chilling delight it takes in hunting its victims. Though tension pervades, the plot sometimes feels bare-bones, and a few key shifts in the action happen too quickly to be entirely believed.Reluctant readers, however, will be grateful for the low page count, and horror lovers will relish the bloody imagery and the genuine scariness. (Horror. 12 & up)