An enjoyable Halloween ride with a cool hero
I really enjoyed this book. I love Halloween and so it was cool for me that the book is set during that time, especially as we don’t celebrate it much in the UK. We are transported into Gage’s (main character) world and see everything through his eyes. Gage is also autistic, so the reader learns what this means for our hero. I found this an interesting addition and it opened my eyes to some things, such as how Gage’s senses are more acute than the average person – taste, smell and hearing, in particular. He also tries to control how he reacts or overreacts to things. It’s a really fascinating addition to the book and we get a youth who is not your typical hero, which is the point - everyone is a hero.
At the beginning of the book, we learn that Gage doesn’t really have any friends. His family seems a happy one and he loves his sister, Sydney, dearly. She gives him confidence. As the writer tells us, ‘in her eyes, he was a hero. Sydney made him feel important; she looked up at him when so many others simply looked through him.' Things like this made me remember how weird and baffling things often were when growing up, and the author gets it spot on. But Gage is not a sad character - instead I found him fun.
Gage has a big imagination and his own hideout – the fort, guarded by Tonka, the dog – where the boy likes to start a ‘mission... his monster-bashing adventures’, the writer tells us. Gage is also a budding writer, it seems, as he imagines his missions and writes them down. But things take a strange turn when the boy makes the discovery of an unusual object that shouldn’t really be there. Then he meets the odd, but enigmatic Eve and the adventure really takes off.
The author has created a believable setting for her characters to inhabit. There are rich descriptions of the human world and that of Grimsley Hollow, well-rounded players, a gripping plot and suspense. Gage is a great central character, and I enjoyed how he learns about himself and others, and slowly builds some confidence.
I recommend this book simply because I know you’re going to enjoy it.