From Goodreads: A chilling and masterfully crafted teen horror novel guaranteed to keep the pages turning, the mind reeling, and the lamp on any reader’s bedside table on long after midnight. Privileged and popular Caleb Mason is celebrating his high school graduation when he receives a mysterious, disturbing letter from his long-lost childhood playmate, Christine. Caleb and his jokester friend, Bean, decide to travel to his tiny hometown of Hudsonville, Florida, to find her. Upon arrival, they discover the town has taken a horrifying turn for the worse. Caleb’s childhood home is abandoned and his father has disappeared. Children are going missing. The old insane asylum has reopened, and Christine is locked inside. Her mother, a witch, is consumed with madness, and Christine’s long-dead twin sister whispers clues to Caleb through the static of an a.m. radio. The terrifying prophesies of the spirits are coming to pass. Sixteen clocks are ticking; sixty-six murdered souls will bring about the end of the world. As Caleb peels back layer after layer of mystery, he uncovers a truth more horrible than anything he had imagined, a truth that could only be uttered by the lips of the dead.
HCI has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release today, and I must say I am intrigued. This is a really interesting story, which I read fairly quickly as it was quite intense, though I do have to say that the creep factor wasn’t really there for me. I originally wanted to read it because of the scare factor, and while many reviews I’ve read say they were indeed rattled, I have to admit that I wasn’t. It was a great ride, don’t get me wrong, but I wasn’t scared to the point of leaving my light on at night, so don’t be disappointed if you aren’t either.
However, this is a great premise for a novel, and Gates is a wonderful writer. Although a few areas of the novel were a bit slow, most of the novel is action packed, a true rollercoaster ride as Caleb uncovers the truth, bit by bit. Yes, it’s a little gritty and bloody, so beware, but it’s not enough to make you ill. I will make this one statement though: don’t get too attached to the many different characters. I’m not going to say any more than that; no spoilers from me, but reader beware… there are lots of characters introduced within the novel, lots of really great characters, fully fleshed out and very likable… but don’t get attached…
For a debut novel, I have to say that Grant has done a superb job! The ending of the novel was left open as well, paving the way for a sequel, which I am highly anticipating. Three stars.