Taking titles from a mysterious blank book that possibly belonged to Rudolph Daemon, Tremblin invites three contestants to...

RETURN TO DAEMON HALL

EVIL ROOTS

Despite the terrible events at Daemon Hall last year, horror writer Ian Tremblin is repeating his contest to discover and publish a talented young writer (Daemon Hall, 2007).

Taking titles from a mysterious blank book that possibly belonged to Rudolph Daemon, Tremblin invites three contestants to join past winner and former mental patient Wade Reilly along with Daemon Hall survivor Demarius for an evening of storytelling. During the sharing of the first story, the six writers are suddenly transported to Daemon Hall, where horror still lives. Whether they tell tales of haunted Native American hunting grounds, construction deaths or possessed tattoos that stitch themselves onto a host, the authors must share their stories and survive the night. Nance again uses the frame to present an enjoyable compilation of fireside tales. While none of the individuals has a fleshed-out personality, the narrative format really doesn't demand them. Daemon Hall is reminiscent of many a haunted house, and the Faustian bargain that underlies the story is comfortingly familiar. Polhemus’ stark artwork builds the mood, with heavy lines and crosshatching complementing the campfire nature of the tales.

Pub Date: July 19, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8050-8748-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2011

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A bridge between paranormals and boys' realism about thugs and delinquents, reminiscent of Neal Shusterman's Dark Fusion:...

BLOODBORN

AN OTHER NOVEL

From the Other series , Vol. 2

How many metaphors can one werewolf embody?

In the case of incipient teen wolf Brock, it's an easy two. His lycanthropy, held temporarily at bay by medication, makes his facial hair grow "so much faster than it did before," keeps him hungry although he just "had two roast beef sandwiches and an apple turnover shake" and forces him to fantasize about his ex-girlfriend, Cyn, who "drives [him] wild." In other words, he's a teenage boy. Meanwhile, parallels are continually drawn between the racism practiced against werewolves and humans; the same sheriff who tells a werewolf mother, "I should put a bullet in your brain right now and spare myself the paperwork," begins the novel by pulling Cyn over for Driving While Latina. Amid all this metaphor, there manages to be plot—Brock, previously vilely racist against Others, now has to come to terms with his new identity while fleeing the bigoted lawman. Despite Brock's infantile behavior, the werewolf pack feels responsibility for having turned him (though the original bite was an act of self-defense). Unless he can overcome his own self-loathing and guilt, Brock will wind up dead, maybe bringing Cyn with him.

 A bridge between paranormals and boys' realism about thugs and delinquents, reminiscent of Neal Shusterman's Dark Fusion: Red Rider's Hood (2005) . (Paranormal. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7387-1920-7

Page Count: 312

Publisher: Flux

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2011

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A compelling mystery unevenly executed.

THE UNQUIET PAST

From the Secrets series

An orphan with visons seeks her past in a Gothic 1964 Quebec.

Sixteen-year-old Tess (for Thérèse) has always wanted to travel, but that doesn't mean she wants to be forced from her home. When the Benevolent Home for Necessitous Girls in Ontario burns down, she's turfed out with a bare-bones clue ("Each of you seven older girls has something from your past," explains the matron, linking this novel to the other six books in the Secrets series). Armed with a disconnected phone number and an address in rural Quebec, Tess braves the train, bothered only by the ghosts she's seen all her life. The address holds no easy answers to either her past or her visions; it's merely a photogenic abandoned mansion, filled with crumbling psychiatry books and long since ravaged by locals. Her investigation of the ruin is interrupted by a hostile squatter, who threatens her with violence. Jackson disbelieves Tess' tale though he refuses to explain his own secrets as a broke, filthy teenager who's exceedingly well-spoken in both French and English—often to the point of irritating pedantry. Tess' visions and their findings in the creepy basement lead her to suspect pulp-novel medical shenanigans, which themselves devolve into a frankly absurd deus ex machina conclusion. Unlike the cackling villainy of the back story, the realistic landscape of racist microagressions that plague Métis Jackson is heartbreakingly matter-of-fact.

A compelling mystery unevenly executed. (Historical fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4598-0654-2

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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