GAH. This is going to be one of those harsh reviews that I really hate writing. But because I’ve loved the author’s other works, the disappointment of this one hit hard.
So, here we have a group of kids. Franny (the POV we read from, her brother Arthur, Levi, Remy, Nick, and Sofia. They are creatures of loss, one way or another, and find companionship in it all while being part of a small Youtube channel while they visit haunted places and recall ghost stories. During one such nightly excursion, they encounter something otherworldly.
This book started solid, with hints of movies like Super 8 and maybe even Signs and a little bit of Goonies and E.T. But unfortunately, it didn’t take off in the same caliber. I prepped myself for the big reveal to what happened with Franny’s brother, only to never truly get it. I wanted a real Signs moment, where Mel Gibson finally comes to terms with his wife’s death type thing. Don’t get me wrong; the book had fantastic characters in that I could tell them each apart which is hard to do when you’re writing a book with six close friends vying for the reader’s attention.
Basically, the story dipped and stayed underwater for quite some time. I found myself skimming, (which is the first sign of boredom). There was quite a bit of flashback, which I ordinarily don’t mind, but there were so many which should have built up to something and never did. Not to mention, I felt incredibly DUPED by the cover and the synopsis. I thought I was finally getting a fresh alien novel. ARGH.
This book was compared to The Serpent King, which is a total bull crap lie. That book had heart and what ultimately led me into reading it as buying it as quickly as I did. Henry’s first two books were shiny gifts to the world, but this one was one of those shoebox presents wrapped in newspaper.