Top positive review
A Lovely Good One
Reviewed in the United States on August 26, 2015
This turned out to be one of my favorite Mary Downing Hahn books, and one of my favorite ghost story books in general. Here's why.
I have been disappointed by most of the ghost stories I've read over the past few years. Sometimes nothing really happens until a little bit of ambiguous nonsense on the next to last page. Or we get gruesome hyper-violence. Or we get psycho-thriller literary gamesmanship. Not so with this book.
Here, we start with an Inn with a history of hauntings. Two visiting kids decide to fake some ghosty activity and end up waking up the real ghosts. From the blurbs that sounds like the sum of the plot. But no, without doing too much SPOILING it is fair to say that the awakening of the ghosts is really the start of the story, with action, mystery, a deep backstory and some very touching and/or scary interactions with ghosts.
The book is fast paced, with a crisp and direct style appropriate for the target reading demo. It's scary, but in an honest thrills sort of way. The book doesn't turn on violent scenes, but is suspenseful and has it's scary moments. The narrator, the older of the two visiting kids, has a matter of fact but reasonably personable style that doesn't overshadow the action. There is a fair amount of mild humor, and some nicely turned phrases and descriptions. The overall effect is tight, well crafted and efficient. There is a fair amount of monologuing, but that doesn't interrupt the flow of the story and keeps the plot on track for younger readers.
So, this turned out to be a very satisfying, classically scary and entertaining ghost story with a lot more going for it that I had expected. A nice find.