Trona is a small, smoggy, mostly insignificant town in Colorado. Besides a booming chemical plant, the only thing that characterizes this dismal town is dirt, sagebrush, and an enormous abandoned mansion.
The mansion is, admittedly, the only notable addition to Trona, but it’s something everyone tries to avoid due to its creepy facade. Everyone except for Camm Smith, who is obsessed with the need to get inside.
Seven years earlier, as Camm herded a pack of little trick-or-treaters past the mansion, her young neighbor, Hugh, disappeared, becoming just one of many children who have vanished from Trona over the years without a trace. Now a senior in high school, Camm is still haunted by the old tragedy and is sure the answer to the mysterious disappearances lies hidden somewhere in the decaying mansion. Joining forces with her best friend, Cal, who also happens to be Hugh’s older brother, Camm naively begins a perilous search for the truth.
As things spiral quickly out of control, and others die, Camm and Cal discover it will take all their combined ingenuity to stay alive. An unseen creature, lurking deep within the bowels of the mansion, seems to have supernatural powers and is now hunting them. Making matters worse, they become entangled with hostile federal agents, who care only about keeping old secrets permanently hidden. Left with only their wit and seemingly ineffective firearms, they know they are running out of time. Unless they can make sense out of the few pieces of the puzzle they manage to unearth, the monster will certainly destroy them, and like so many others before them, they will be gone without a trace.
You know how I love a good scary story and this one does not disappoint. The Brothers Washburn do a wonderful job of building great characters, bone-chilling suspense and unforgettable settings. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the old abandoned house and that parts of the story are told from the perspective of the scary, nasty creature that lurks there.
The narrative has a quick pace and the writing is sharp and engaging. There is great chemistry and banter between the two teenage main characters. Guys and girls, young and old, can enjoy this young adult horror novel.
Content note: Mild gore and violence.
Release date: March 16, 2013
Thanks for reading! Teri
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