Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Night Gardener

Premise: Molly and Kip are barely surviving when they are offered a job as servants at the supremely creepy, derelict Windsor estate. The people living there are pale, with sunken dark eyes. And the house is visited each evening by a mysterious "night man" who tends a strange tree. Soon Molly and Kip find themselves enmeshed in an ancient curse that threatens the lives of everyone at the Windsor estate.

Title: The Night Gardener
Author: Jonathan Auxier
Length: 368 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Content Appropriate For: Grades 5-8
Format: eARC courtesy of Amulet books via NetGalley
Release Date: May 20, 2014

Three adjectives that describe this book: gripping, dangerous, spooky

Oh man this book is terrific! The creepiness builds steadily until the unbelievably dark seems totally plausible. That's one reason why I typically avoid scary stories - they seem so fake that it's hard for me to buy in to them. In this case, however, Auxier has crafted a tale that is wholly believable. He does it by starting with mundane and carefully adding the creepy, ghost elements.

Be warned, though, this book is not for the faint of heart. The idea of a creepy man walking around your house at night, standing over your bed, is sure to give some readers nightmares. Not to mention the collection of violent deaths and super-creepy-soul-stealing tree.

Wonderfully written, beautifully paced, and populated by a cast of richly interesting characters, The Night Gardener kept me totally glued to the page.

This post is part of the A to Z Challenge.

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