An emotional and chilling tale of loss, love, and personal demons.
Fifteen-year-old Silla wants to be someplace safe, away from her abusive home and the threat of war. When she and her younger sister, Nori, escape to La Baume, Silla hopes the ancestral home of her mother and aunt will be a safe haven. At first Aunt Cath is caring and attentive, but then everything goes awry. And even though it isn’t possible, Silla is sure Python Wood is creeping closer to La Baume…along with the malevolent entity called the Creeper Man. The novel is set in modern Britain, but Kurtagich’s careful worldbuilding reeks of gothic atmosphere and will make readers forget where and when they are. Silla’s spiral into madness seems drawn out for the sake of building her romance with Gowan, a boy who suddenly appears at the manor, which results in a conclusion that feels abrupt and somewhat unoriginal. However, the novel, which is told from Silla’s perspective and peppered with notes from Nori and Aunt Cath, will haunt readers with its raw emotions, palpable pain, and consistent character voices. Silla is described as having “too-white skin,” but diversity exists in Nori, who is mute and afflicted by a deformity.
Frightening and compelling, this gothic will easily sweep fans up into its creeping sense of hysteria. (Horror. 13 & up)