Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Heather Brewer
Publisher: Harper Teen
Stephen's mother suffers from mental illness, and his Dad has finally put her in a care facility. Stephen and his Dad have just moved from Denver to a small town in Minnesota to live with his Grandmother. Grandma is less than thrilled to have them, and the whole town seems stuck in a rut. He makes friends with twins Devon and Cara and the guys they hang with. This soon leads to light criminal activity and an overwhelming attraction to Cara. There are myths in this town about "the winged ones" and how sacrifices must be made in difficult times. The cemetery is known as "The Playground," but it is also the place where the twins' dad died a horrible death. As the story reaches the climax, Stephen realizes it may also be his final resting place. His Dad comes to the rescue, but loses his life in the process. Stephen is alone and lonely in the end, but plotting his escaped from the cursed little town.
The suspense is really well sustained and the story draws the reader from page to page with enthusiasm, curiosity, and a good dose of mystery. The actuality of the winged ones is left to the reader's determination, but the really scary stuff happens well within the realms of reality, as does much of the suspense. This is not a book for those who do not enjoy a good shivery tingle—there is a fair amount of blood, sexual tension, and a nice mythology haunting the background. Is the town superstitious or have they actually found a way to get around the bad times? There is room for some imagination in the story but enough answers are provided to the mystery to leave the reader satisfied with the ending. This is a great Halloween tale, perfect the month of October.
*Contains moderate sexual content, mild language, and moderate violence.