Without giving too much away, the story is this. Jacob’s grandfather has always told him fantastic tales about monsters and an orphanage for “peculiar” children. When Jacob grows older, he dismisses his grandfather’s stories as fairytales. Then, Jacob receives a strange call from his grandfather, and when he checks in on him, he finds him on the cusp of death after an attack. His grandfather’s last babbling words to him send him on a journey to a town called Cairnholm to find out more about his grandfather.
While he is able to fill in the gaps of his grandfather’s life during this trip, he also finds out something important about himself.
Even though this book came highly recommended by many people, when I first got into it, I was little skeptical that it would be as good as everyone says it is because the beginning was a little slow. However, after making it past the first few chapters, I was engrossed with this world. Personally, I didn’t think story was scary or “haunting” as the description said. It’s more along a fantasy mixed with sci-fi with some bits of intrigue. I don’t think I’d quite call this a young adult story, either. Even though the characters were young, it didn’t have that YA feel to it.
This plays out more like a mystery as little bits and pieces are revealed to the readers, and there was one major part of the story that I figured early on. But that didn’t make it any less of a great read. Also, I think part of the reason this was a four-star book for me is because of Rigg’s creative use of pictures throughout the book. All the pictures are real pictures (and some admittedly touched up for the book) that he borrowed from collectors, giving the book an almost eerie vibe.
It’s really hard to talk about this book without spoiling all the things that made it enjoyable, so I’ll end on this note: Bronwyn is my hero, and you’ll see why once you read the book.