From Goodreads: A girl lies by the canal, her face turned upwards like a stargazer. But she will never see the stars again. Her eyes have been torn out. The rain fills the empty sockets until they brim over, spilling bloody tears down her cold, white cheeks. Once every century, the boundary between the demon Netherworld and the human world weakens. Legions of creatures gather, preparing to cross over, to bring death and destruction. This time is called The Shadowing. Callum has always known that there is something beyond the mortal world – he can see ghosts. Lately, he’s started to have horrific visions of children murdered by some terrible, unseen creature. And then the visions start to come true – and Callum realises he is being hunted too. But Callum must stay alive. He is bound by a dark destiny, and must stand against the demon forces that threaten our world forever. For it is nearly time. The Shadowing is coming…
Egmont USA has been extremely gracious to allow me to read an ARC on this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its US release on September 13, 2011, and I am ecstatic to say I love this book!
I decided to start reading this book the night before school started. That, dear readers, was a big mistake! Not only could I not put the book down because it was so fascinating, but I was also scared out of my mind! I have not been this creeped out in a long time, and while I absolutely LOVE this novel, I do not recommend reading it right before bed. I ended up “sleeping” with the lights on, but didn’t find much sleep at all, which, of course, made for an interesting school day the next morning…
But aside from choosing the wrong time of day to read this novel, it is a fantastic piece! I was captivated from page one. It’s a very creepy tale, and it definitely made my skin crawl on more than one occasion. I haven’t read such a great ghost story in such a long time, and it was both refreshing and shocking. While there is a little bit of blood and gore, I personally think it’s minimal and adds to the overall creep factor of the novel. I might not give this novel to any MG readers, but I think it is suitable for YA and above.
I especially love that the chapters switched back and forth, showing the hunter at work, and then moving back to Callum as he tries to figure out what is happening around him. And, while this novel does take place in the present, it has a very archaic feel to it. Callum lives in the UK in a small town that, through the descriptions, sounds like a very small picturesque town set in its ways. I loved the imagery and archaic feel of it all and think Slater has done a beautiful job creating the setting to go along perfectly with the story.
Another aspect that I really enjoyed, though I struggled with on occasion, was the slang used within the novel. As it’s a British novel, some words and phrases were unfamiliar to me and I had to use context clues to figure out what the characters were talking about. I thought this was really cool and I not only got to read a fantastic horror novel, but I also learned some interesting slang (not any bad words or anything like that). Overall, I highly recommend this novel! Five stars!