A boy seeks to unlock the secrets of the cursed town of Davenport in this debut middle-grade novel.
When his widowed mother takes a job in a new town, 11-year-old Wyatt Dumont doesn’t mind moving. At least it will get him away from the local bully. Wyatt’s older sister, Roxanne, a moody goth teenager, isn’t as thrilled to leave her friends behind. And there is more that their mom isn’t telling them: “If we move there,” Roxy tells Wyatt, “she has to sign a contract for a year, and none of us can leave, not even for vacation.” Wyatt’s mom refuses to explain. Once the family drives through the dark forest that isolates the town of Davenport, the trio is let through a strange iron gate by a masked figure. Wyatt can’t help but wonder what is going on, but he starts to agree with his sister that moving was a mistake when he spots a 10-legged spider creeping through his new room. Shortly after, he finds out that the town is cursed and has been in unbroken night for the last 400 years. From there the mystery only deepens as Wyatt meets the peculiar denizens of Davenport and learns the source of the curse and discovers an ancient artifact. While finding new friends at school (and a new bully to deal with as well), Wyatt begins to understand that something strange—stranger than usual, anyway—is happening in Davenport. Vaughn has filled the world of the novel with fascinatingly unique creatures (“Wyatt looked into the darkness to see a smiling man with green skin and broad, finlike ears”). The author has tied them together in a twisted plot that should compel readers to keep turning pages to find the answers to the many enigmas of Davenport. What happened to the town and its people, what are they afraid of beyond the gate, and what role will Wyatt and his friends play? Most of all, what exactly is the Midnight Glass, and will it be the town’s salvation or its doom?
An enjoyable and well-told story of magic and mystery.