An ideal short read for Halloween, this is a YA horror novel with a Point Horror / Christopher Pike / Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Exorcist vibe. This book frightened me… I enjoyed it!
The story follows six teenagers who decide to use a Ouija board at an abandoned high school, which was previously the scene of a massacre. It’s supposed to be spooky but harmless Halloween fun but in trying to contact the spirits they end up releasing something evil which is going to claim them one by one unless they are able to banish it in a race against time.
This book gets full marks for creepiness and is the kind of horror I like – not really gross, just old-fashioned scary. There’s some violence but it’s not excessive. The great thing about YA horror like this is that we can enjoy it without much background on the characters. They were distinctive enough without their personalities distracting from the story. I didn’t get much of a sense of place, just that it was a town in England. However, I felt that the place was not that important to the story. The teenagers did speak strangely sometimes and had a lot of Americanisms, but for all I know, that’s how they speak now.
I think this book could be improved with a little more editing to vary the sentence structure, plus some variation of words to avoid repetition. It could also benefit from more thorough proof-reading.
Well done to Zoé on her debut. Some of you may know her as a book blogger and book tour organiser so it’s wonderful that she is now an author too!
Published in 2021 by Question Mark Press. Thank you to the author for the review copy.