Question to kickstart my stop on this blog tour: have you guys ever play The Floor is Lava? This is important to the review, so stay with me on this one. Well, have you?
While you ponder that, let me chat quickly about this book. Hang on, let me get my details up then we can chat.
Title and Author: Dread Wood by Jennifer Killick
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley for Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review/reaction
Oh, this is part of a blog tour, organised by The Write Reads (thank you for having me as part of this tour!). But still, am going to be honest (would you expect anything else?)
From the author that bought us Crater Lake comes Dread Wood and oh, it's a humdinger!
What can be worse that having detention on a Saturday? Nothing, according to Angelo, Hallie, Gustav and Naira. But oh, how wrong they are going to be as, within minutes of turning up, they notice that something is very, very wrong. And that's before they see their teacher being dragged underground...
Something frightening is going on. The groundskeeper and his wife are acting weird, whistling Itsy Bitsy Spider. There are tremors under their feet and, soon, they realise that the very ground they are walking on isn't safe. As the four are forced to work together to survive the detention from hell, they begin to realise that them getting detestation at the same time might not have been an accident... Someone wants them to suffer...
This has serious Goosebumps by RL Stine vibes. All the way through this, I kept comparing it to the earlier books in the series, mainly Stay Out of the Basement (I was going to say one or two others, but I haven't read the series in nearly 20 years so my memory is shot). It was a fast paced, spooky middle-grade read that Goosebumps and Crater Lake fans will devour.
This book does have a nice dollop of humour and, under it's spidery body, there is a heart and this does touch on dark subject matter such as child poverty, bullying, disability, pressure from parents, and a few others, which shows that our leads aren't bad, but are fleshed out and there are reasons for the way they behave and react.
But I had such fun with this! Yes, I saw the end coming (I'm in the mid-30s, I am not the target audience), but I would have hoovered this up if I was younger and was more into creepy/spooky reads. I am very excited to read the sequel (if there is one coming. Oh, please let there be a creepy sequel!).
Oh, by the way, if you are a fan of spiders, you might want to give this book a miss...