By: Jennifer Walkup
Publisher: Luminis Books
Publication Date: October 2013
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: October 2013
Preston Academy for the Arts is a small school located in the quaint town of Shady Springs. This is a school for truly creative people, like Lange and her friends. Lange is a newbie to the school, considering she and her photographer Mom only moved to town a few short months ago, but she already has a small group of friends she truly cares about.
Ben, the straight-laced pianist; Kelly, the gypsy who is crazy about fashion design; Stace, a happy blonde who is in love with Vaughn, who is basically the hot guy, music prodigy. But although he likes Stace, he doesn’t feel as strongly as she does.
It is Halloween in Shady Springs and the one thing this town is obsessed with is their yearly ritual called "The Hunt." What happens during "The Hunt" is that a brutal murder is staged by the seniors for underclassmen to solve; the winner gets benefits.
Now, Lange is not into creepy, bloody stuff. Which is funny, considering she and her Mom live in a 200-year-old farmhouse that was the setting years ago for a brutal murder that took the lives of a large family. The killer was found hung in the barn - an apparent suicide. Lange basically disregards the idea of spirits, even though her mother seems to be into that kind of stuff. But she does want to fit in and make her friends happy, so she decides that on Friday the 13th she’ll offer something to Shady Springs’ Halloween extravaganza by holding a séance in her barn.
She and Kelly decorate and when her other friends walk in that night they are met with blood, gore, candles, etc., to get their goosebumps rising. As they sit down at the table and try to ‘call out’ to any spirits that may be left in there, Lange gets an extraordinary surprise. She feels as if something actually is in the barn with her and hears a strange uttering that leaves her pale and weak. Although her friends are a little freaked out, there is only one - Vaughn - who also heard the words that were said, and he hooks up with Lange in order to delve into whatever evil they may have conjured up from the past.
The story goes into overdrive; everything from an eerie song to a box of old letters left behind by one of the victims of the house long ago to photography that proves Lange and Vaughn are a couple who lived before and were brought back together this time around to walk down the same deadly path that they did once before, are brought forth.
Vengeance, past lives, murder stories galore - this author has taken bits and pieces of myths and tales and put a spin on them that will have every mystery/suspense lover jumping in their seats when the surprise ending is offered up!
Quill says: This is a great tale full of darkness and romance; a lot of tricks that make it a memorable treat for Halloween!