A family becomes the new cogs in the clockwork of an old house’s dark, alchemical history.
Still grieving their mother’s death, siblings Lucy, 11, and
Oliver, 13, are having a rough go at life. Lucy picks fights at school, and
Oliver is bullied by classmates for being low-income. Things start to look up
when an elderly, black-clad Englishman hires the pair’s “clocksmith
extraordinaire” father, advancing him $12,000 in gold coins. The job
temporarily relocates the family to an isolated residence known as the
Blackford House to repair its unconventional cuckoo clock. At midnight, a few
of the animal figurines that live in the clock come to life and choose Lucy as
their caretaker. Soon, the whole family winds up in a race against time to stop
an evil monster known as the Garr from enveloping the house in the forest it
controls. Funaro carefully lays clues to help readers solve the mystery surrounding
the house, while the love-conquers-all message keeps the terror at a (mostly)
safe distance. The cliffhanger ending paves the way for the book’s planned
sequel. The cast is presumed white by default.
A well-wound tale of good versus evil. (Horror. 8-12)