This book was about two brothers, Felix and Lee Vickery, who live in the same house serving as apprentices for different Shades, or the human forms of Death and Memory. The brothers are separated by an Agreement due to the fact that Death and Memory are rivals, and Lee lives with the Mom while Felix lives with the Dad. Felix and his dad, who are forced apprentices of Death, mysteriously cure patients with the help of Death, and the whole town normally stays away from them due to their exotic personality. However, one girl, named Gretchen, becomes curious about the events happening at their home, called the Poplar house. For some unknown reason, her family had always intensely hated the Vickeries, and she doesn’t know why. Gretchen is a summoner of rites, meaning she can cast spells and communicate with Shades. However, when Death goes on a rampage and suddenly starts taking innocent lives, she must work with the two brothers to figure out what is happening before mass murder occurs. The setting takes place in a small town called Booney Ridge.
Frankly, I thought the book was really bad. The plot was too dragged out, and at times, there was no motive behind the characters’ actions. Also, the book was very boring due to the fact that no exciting events happened for a long time, and it was like that for almost half the story. I also thought that the author did not provide enough detail to understand a deep analysis of a character and their personality. When reading, it was foreshadowed that everyone knew some secrets, but they were never even revealed at the end. The plot was also messy and the author continuously switched character perspectives more than he should have. Overall, I really didn’t like anything about this book and thought it was a waste of time.
One memorable thing about the book was the suspense, which was one thing the author did well. Whenever the characters discovered a clue for their mystery, that clue led to another clue and I was curious to see what they would find. However, I really did not read anything that memorable.
Reviewed by Aaryan Asthana, Twin Hickory Area Library
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