The Atlas of Cursed Places: Director's Cut

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Book Information
Rating: Excellent
Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Vanessa Acton
Publisher: Darby Creek Publishing
Year: 2016
ISBN: 9781512413243
Pages: 104

A daring group of friends slip through the fence surrounding a cursed and abandoned movie set near an airbase in Nevada. Rumor has it that those who go in bring the curse upon themselves, even after they leave. Fire and death have stalked the set, but one of the girls wants to capture evidence of the ghosts. Their excursion ends when they are chased out by a pack of mysterious wolves. Misfortunes continue to follow them over the next few days, until they decide that they need to go back in and rescue a film which may release the captive spirits bound to an earthly existence. It is a narrow escape through fire, but they make it, and set the ghosts free with popcorn and a movie night.

The suspense is well maintained and the story ends with a nice solid conclusion. Because this series is told in brief, uncomplicated but compelling stories, it is a great way to get reluctant readers with an interest in the paranormal involved in some well-written chapter books. The characters are a loyal group of friends who stand by each other and who are typical examples of youth their age. The plot, including the pursuit of the wolves is well described and appropriately frightening with plenty of "is this the curse" drama. As it is full of ghosts with a penchant for pyromania, young readers will enjoy a good suspenseful thrill with this book.