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PARADISE TRAP by Catherine Jinks


by Catherine Jinks

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: April 24th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60684-273-7
Publisher: Egmont USA

Two vacationing families fall afoul of a deadly predator from Greek mythology.

Just arrived among the hordes of vacationers surrounding Diamond Beach, 11-year-old video-gamer Marcus is astounded to discover that the shabby, wheeled trailer his mother Holly bought for the outing sports a hidden staircase that leads down to a dark cellar. Stranger yet, the cellar has doors that lead to the opener’s dream vacation. These range from a fabulous amusement park for the young son of Coco, a childhood friend of Holly’s who follows Marcus down the stairs, and a rock club packed with celebrities for Coco’s moody teenage daughter to the idyllic beach resort of Holly’s childhood. The disturbing discovery that each locale turns hostile toward anyone who wants to leave or isn’t having fun prompts Marcus to enlist the grownups in a rescue that becomes a running battle with the trailer’s former owner, Miss Molpe. This kindly old lady from Holly’s youth is in truth a clever and powerful child-eating Siren who has lost her voice but still retains the ability to set elaborate magical snares for intended victims. She can also create vacations from hell, as Marcus and company discover before a narrow escape that (possibly) sends her to a fiery doom.

A breathless escapade, featuring several horror-show tropes leavened with hints of satire. (Fantasy. 11-13)