Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Dan Poblocki
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Five children with various backgrounds and interests have been lured with false promises to an old empty mansion that was once an orphanage. Poppy, Marcus, Dylan, Dash, and Azumi all come expecting different things from Shadow House. Eerie things begin to happen when they arrive and no one is there to greet any of them. Ghostly figures and phantoms begin to "play" with them and the children begin to draw closer together. It becomes a challenge both to survive and solve the riddle that is Shadow House.
This book is well written with a quick pace that keeps the action moving and engaging. The characters are well developed, if not completely open and sympathetic. The creep factor is sufficient to keep a tingle running up and down a reader's spine. Very little of the overall plot is revealed in this first segment of this trilogy. Hints like breadcrumbs are scattered in each chapter, but beyond the fact that a mysterious force is trying to kill them and that the house had a sinister orphan master who seems to be related to Poppy, there are more questions raised than answered. It is a good read, but not complete without the rest of the series.
*Contains mild violence.