Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Into the Grey ~ Celine Kiernan (earc) review [@Celine_Kiernan @Candlewick]

Into the Grey
Candlewick Press
August 26, 2014
304 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

A pacy, chilling ghost story from the creator of the internationally acclaimed Moorehawke Trilogy.

I think the fire changed us – me and Dom. I think that’s how the boy was able to see us. Though he’d been there for every summer of our childhood, we’d only been stupid boys until then. Stupid, happy, ignorant boys. And what in hell would he have had in common with two stupid boys? But after the fire we were different. We were maybe a little bit like him. And so he saw us, at last, and he thought he’d found a home…
"Pushed off the edge of the world into the grey nowhere . . ." (pg 114)

Set in Ireland in 1974, Into the Grey uses great setting (time and location) appropriate dialogue to really bring readers into the characters' world. While some of the words were not ones I knew (at least used as they were), nearly all were easy to decipher given the context.

Dom and Pat are two fifteen-year-old boys, twins, whose family is forced to move to their summer home by the sea after their home is destroyed. Without the carefree joy of summer, the boys see the differences in the house, the dust, how cramped it is.

But that's not the only different thing they see: there's also the goblin boy.

Soon, they find themselves pulled into a world they didn't even know existed.

The tone of Into the Grey is really fantastic. The closest thing I can think to compare it to is Help for the Haunted (though with more positive results for me). There are startling moments, spooky scenes and an overall creepy feel. Yet, it's that the whole thing is not a horror novel or a 'scary' story that made it so enjoyable for me. The focus is very much on the characters, whether it's the struggles within their family (extended, as well), caring for Nan after her stroke, adjusting to the new life . . . or if it's the possible, likely haunting of one of them.

Even as one brother struggles to save the other, to keep them all safe, he's learning, seeing countless things about his other family members he was unaware of previously.

Not only are the characters' relationships and their pasts something very interesting and compelling to read about, they help bring the whole story together. It was tricky, at first, to understand just how everyone connected, but that fit very well with how things came together for the characters. Once I had it figured, though, I loved it.

Into the Grey is a very rewarding story of friendship, brotherly love, familial bonds, war, death, ghosts and being found. Even if you don't usually read 'ghost' stories, this one is recommended.

Of the covers the different editions have received, this one from Candlewick is my favorite. It's not only eye-catching, once you've read (or are reading) the novel, it represents it so well.

egalley received through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program from publisher and through NetGalley, for review

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