Escape From Grimstone Manor

Escape From Grimstone Manor
Age Range
Release Date
May 09, 2023
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In a mansion on a hill,
lived a man no one could kill.
Raised the dead with magic dark
to rule the world and make his mark.

Zari has always been fascinated by creepy stories about Hezekiah Crawly, the real-life inspiration behind her local amusement park's haunted house attraction, so she's thrilled when her friends Mateo and Taylor agree to go on the last ride of the day before the park closes.

But when the ride breaks down, the three get trapped inside the haunted house for the night! As if that weren't scary enough, the kids stumble onto a hidden staircase leading to a dark, cobwebbed crypt that doesn't seem like part of the ride—and by the looks of it, they aren't alone down there. Is it possible the stories about Hezekiah Crawly and his monstrous experiments are true? And if so, can Zari, Mateo and Taylor make it through the night in one piece?

Editor review

1 review
Danger at every turn
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
The story offers three characters with a complete range of bravery or perhaps common sense. Mateo is the cautious one who never wants to take a risk. He’s totally against visiting the community’s haunted house amusement ride right before closing. Taylor’s on the other end of the spectrum and makes reckless decisions, like leaving the safety of the amusement ride car and getting everyone trapped in the haunted house. Zari fits right in the middle and is afraid to speak out against either of her friends. In a way, her inability to take a side only makes things worse.
The author establishes a creepy setting to set a frightening, chilling mood. The haunted house used to be owned by a necromancer named Hezekiah Crawly who liked to experiment with life and death. Readers aren’t sure which scary sights are props for the ride and which ones are artifacts left from Crawly’s actual collection. The kids discover mummies, a werewolf, and a reptilian statue that look almost lifelike but they can’t understand how the skeletons have maintained their poses and grips on weapons after all these years. Most of the objects are found in a dark, dank basement but they’re only the beginning of the spine-tingling discoveries.
The best part of the book is the non-stop action; it reminds me a bit of a Scooby Doo adventure without Scooby Doo. Once the kids realize they’re stuck in the Grimstone Manor, they’re constantly on the move trying to find a way out. The house is full of secret rooms with hidden doors that require investigation to find out how they open. The characters figure moving up in the house is the best way to find an exit but the paths they find always lead down. Of course, the real escapade begins once the creatures become animated. The number and variety of monsters make it impossible to turn a corner without finding one and the puzzle to solve is how to stop beasts that should already be dead. The memory of Hezekiah Crawly is constantly looming in the back of readers’ minds as his ghastly experiments must be behind all of this mayhem. Will the necromancer himself return or is something more dreadful waiting at the next turn?
What didn’t work as well:
The plot moves so swiftly that there isn’t much time to fully develop the characters and story. The events are fairly predictable for kids stuck in a haunted house so readers shouldn’t expect many surprises. The solution to the problem becomes evident once its cause is discovered.
The Final Verdict:
This book is a fun, quick read that’s packed full of suspenseful events. While this book is the first in the series, it appears as though each book will have its own setting and cast of characters. Overall, I suggest you give this book and series a shot.
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