Paperback, 336 pages
Published August 2nd 2007 by Oxford University Press
0192754734 (ISBN13: 9780192754738)
In an abandoned house in the Lake District, a cupboard door opens into a playroom. Buried in dust is a collection of children's books in which the names of characters have been savagely crossed out. Here three children played a make believe game, sacrificing their dreams and wishes to make what they believed come true. But the game was never finished and in the woods behind the house something waits, hungry for the only food it knows. Now a new family has come to the house. Soon they will discover themselves in the game. But they do not know the rules. And they are the pawns, not the players . . . A story with the terror and suspense of The Blair Witch Project.
I wasn't really sure what to expect when I was reading this book. I noticed an author who had reviewed it that did make me hesitant as I found that particular authors books rather dull. However, boy was I surprised when I started to read it, for it was a whole lot more than what I was expecting and was therefore glad that I had not let that one small factor cloud my judgement of reading it. The book really seemed to have a very unique quality that had me engaged from beginning to end. The plot of the story has to do with three girls from the past and four kids who come across the past. Its all about working out the good from the evil and learning to work together rather than being at one anothers throats all the time and that in itself is a very thought provoking concept. In the story we meet two girls who are step sisters but who hate one another so much due to having the same nickname, cat. Neither one is willing to change there name and both are adament that the name belongs to them. It causes nothing but mayhem and nonsense within the family, a complication that could quite simply rip the family apart if they don't pull themselves together. Stuck between the literal cat fight are two boys, who get on but rather awkwardly. One wants to be someone different and another is kept to himself, simply ignored because he is the youngest.
When the family are literally at wits end they receive a letter from an old family relative inviting them to have a small holiday at there home. This sounds good to them and could very well be the thing that they need to get them all working together as a family. However, they didn't expect to run into the trouble that they did. there are secrets from the past that are better left as secrets, things that should never have been uncovered and there are still two very hateful spiteful girls who refuse to get along. all of this is a recipie for disastor, so it really is no cliche when everything starts to go wrong. Despite that though, I still find that there is a lot going on that catches the audiences mind and allows them to ponder throughout the pages, especially when we meet two new characters and we are left wondering how on earth they are left to link to the novel and its plot.
In all respects the whole book is neatly and well pieced together. it draws you in in a way that makes you understand and sense the fear that the others are going through. you become one with the characters, identifying there emotions and wanting to tag along with them. However for me, I did find that the book dragged on a little, but this wasn't a big issue in my opinion. it just simply seemed to add this hesitation of you wanting to carry on, wondering if you would actually find out what was actually occuring and who was at fault. However when we did reach the plot you could see that the hints were actually placed there throughout the whole thin, that the make believe game represented the names that had been sacrificed, the droids with the missing eyes were part of the sacrifices, and that it was all about a revenge technique that was going to go very very wrong.
I felt that there was actually many a lesson that could really be learnt from the pages in the sense that it seemed to say to the reader, that sometimes revenge is not the best way, especially if it is another person trying to coax us into following through with a plan that sounds difficult. But we also see that sometimes it takes the worst of actions and consequences to draw something back together more tightly than before. It can take a very very sticky situation to bring back a family and make them whole. I do feel that the book was well written, but it had its fault. the beginning was dragged out, the plot was rushed and the ending wasn't really much of an ending. The whole structure of the book was dense, lacking and lame in many ways. I wouldn't say that it ruined the book however, I just think its something that perhaps could have been better well presented. I was left wanting more at the end and that was irritating because the book didn't really leave much room for there to be a second novel or to make it a series, so that was frustrating in its own sort of way. none the less, the book deserve a three star rating. it was good and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't brilliant, it was just an enjoyable read that was powerful in its own sense.