A fresh and often funny paranormal mystery for the middle school set.
Twelve-year-old Miranda May, who has been plagued with disturbing dreams featuring a menacing shadow, has just moved with her family to Firecroft Bay, a sleepy town on the English coast steeped in fog and mystery. Miranda is soon drawn into a group of students who, she is surprised to discover, meet in a secret lair to hatch their plans to bring high-tech gadgetry, smarts and telepathy to bear on the paranormal elements in their midst. The group enlists Miranda’s help in subduing the Animus, the ominous shadow that has been haunting Miranda and wreaking havoc in the town. The trouble is that Miranda doesn’t quite trust this merry band of spook hunters, or perhaps it is they who don’t quite trust her. The only sure thing is that something is not what it seems. While the focus is a bit scattered initially and the dramatic tension is slow to build up, confusing character arcs and plot elements begin to coalesce about halfway through the story and then hum along to a satisfying ending.
A relatively tame paranormal mystery with interesting and likable, if not memorable, characters, this one is a good choice where demand for the genre is strong—which will be just about everywhere. (Paranormal suspense. 9-12)