Rebecca isn't happy to be spending her summer in Winterfold. She's been taken from London by her father to live in the tiny seaside village for six weeks. Back in London are all her friends, and Adam, who she was hoping to see more of - but it's too late now, she's stuck far away from them in a cramped house.
I have read other books by this author, and to be honest, I've never really connected with them. However, from the very first chapter I felt that this book was very different - in a good way. The first thing to notice is the strong dark Gothic atmosphere that is created through the main characters. These are very well written - the story is told by two young teenage girls, who captivate the reader until the story comes to an end.
The second aspect involves the interwoven story, that runs alongside the mysterious adventures of Rebecca and the spooky character of Ferelith. Told through a journal from the seventeenth century, encounters with the Rector and Dr Barrieux (the master of Winterfold Hall) unfold. Uncovered are the strange experiments in seeking the answers to the afterlife - these have you chilled to the bone.
This book is superb. I loved the tension, the mystery and all the questions the author asks his readers about the after-life, friendship and the pushing of moral boundaries. You're never sure as to where the story threads are going to take you. The Gothic and religious nature add an interesting element to the story. The extent of the author's research into this book is extensive. The author has shown great diversity in this novel and delivered it with so much vibrant energy, that it leaves you out of breath.
Ferelith already lives in Winterfold - it's a place that doesn't like to let you go, and she knows it inside out - the beach the crumbling cliff paths,the village streets,the wood,the deserted churches and ruined graveyards,year by year being swallowed by the sea.
The book is particularly engrossing and captivating. It is extremely thought provoking and made a great impact on me. It's a terror and urban myth ride with a less than idyllic ending. It's definitely one of the best books I have read so far this year. I would highly recommend this book to you all!
Book published by Orion Children's Books