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From the Sinister Summer series, volume 2

by Kiersten White

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-593-37908-0
Publisher: Delacorte

Twins Alexander and Theo, 12, speculate about what awaits them—good or bat—at the Sanguine Spa in the Little Transylvanian Mountains.

Aunt Saffronia drops them off along with 16-year-old sister Wil and vague directions to look closer and find what was lost. When she left them at a water park the previous week, Aunt Saffronia issued equally imprecise instructions that led them to root out a couple of villains and be gifted an antique brass stopwatch. They’re starting to suspect each destination is part of a bigger scavenger hunt, but they have more questions than answers. Who is Aunt Saffronia? Where are their parents? It’s all quick-moving, tongue-in-cheek, gothic fun. The banter between Alexander and Theo sparks, highlighting the differences in their personalities: Alexander is cautious; Theo charges ahead. Wil is so engaged in her cellphone she seems unaware of the spa hostess yelling at the ceiling, the spa guests laid out on tables like corpses, and the cave full of bats. Meanwhile, Alexander and Theo suspect the spa is really a vampire hotel. Weirder still, a villain from the water park arrives and steals something. Children should have read Wretched Waterpark (2022) to fully appreciate and follow the entertaining story threads, characters, and clues about the larger puzzle. Next stop: summer camp!

Another eerie escapade in a delightfully quirky series.

(Mystery. 8-12)