Isabel Wixon is weird. Not only does she see dead things, but her only friends consist of a talkative ventriloquist’s dummy and the gentlemanly spider that lives in her hair. Real friends? Too hard. Inventing friends is much easier.
Inventing the Boatman—a terrible monster that lures kids into a strange sleeping sickness and never lets them go—probably wasn’t one of her better ideas though.
W’ever you do,
No matter how weak he seems.
He’ll hold you fast,
And not let go,
And trap you in your dreams.”
This is a genre I'd like to see more books in, and Kat Hawthorne's "The Boatman" does not disappoint. I found the story was filled with great world building and character descriptions, though sometimes the story itself was weighted down with heavy exposition for a middle grade read. But this brings in more appeal to a young adult market and as it progressed I was drawn deeper and deeper into the mystery of the Boatman until there was no turning back.
Isabel, herself, shuffles through her dreary life in her Aunt Slaughter's (great name!) mansion next to the family Slaughter graveyard, where she is harassed by ghosts and the mystery of the Boatman. I enjoyed her sidekick, the ever-loving Monty, who could make Isabel laugh and keep her positive. But Monty can't join Isabel in her dreams...and that is where the Boatman awaits her. I was thoroughly creeped out by both his eerie description as well as other characters she made come alive with her imagination (talking dolls haunted my nightmares as a child - need I say more?). Without giving away too much information, all I can say is "The Boatman" is the right mix of terrorizing thrill as it is clever and intriguing. This is one Hidden World I recommend reading!
On a side note, the illustrations are amazing - a perfect fit for this creepy middle grade tale. I fell in love with Dora Mitchell's menacing creation the instant I laid eyes on the cover, and was ecstatic to see more mixed in throughout the chapters.
Buy your copy today:
Please visit www.katmhawthorne.com for more information about Kat’s writing, or www.movetothewrite.com to learn about her editing work.
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www.katmhawthorne.com , www.movetothewrite.com