Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way and the thoughts expressed are my own.
A middle-grade horror novel that sees two siblings, RJ and Shelly, struggle as they try to fight off things of nightmares. An anxious scary-cat RJ is not what you’d have in mind for a hero. He loves his mother and sister (and puts up with his irritating stepdad, Ed) and endures the daily torment of the school bullies. Setting up a lemonade stand and receiving a simple, antique coin brings more danger than RJ could ever have expected.
The coin calls to you, but one touch brings incredible pain, sores and lesions covering every inch of the victim. RJ and Shelly discover this horror when Shelly falls victim to the coin, and her brother barely manages to rip the coin from her skin. Yet there’s more to the dangerous knick-knack than they could know. A creepy eight-foot-tall figure comes for the coin, banging and clawing to get in the house.
Terrified yet determined to be rid of the cursed beacon, RJ ventures across the road to the haunted house, certain that they’ll be safe if he can just return it to where it came from. But even with Shelly’s help, RJ must evade the shadowy figure and the monsters that lurk inside the haunted mansion.
I won’t spoil what happens in the adventure since the twist and turns make for an enjoyable rollercoaster. The development of the villain and haunted house were intriguing and much more than a homicidal bogeyman. It’s great to see two young kids, especially one so crippled by anxiety try to push through their fears to protect their family from monsters that would have must adults crying and blubbering in a corner.
A fast-paced, creepy adventure sees an anxious boy trying to push past his fear to be rid of a cursed object, protect his sister and fight against terrifying monsters. Any fan of horror will enjoy this book, with its well-developed hero this book is more than just a ghost story. I loved the idea of an everyday object being cursed and am keen to see what other cursed items will cause trouble in the future. I give it 4/5.