The author has done an excellent job of providing an age appropriate, but truly terrifying, über creepy tale that will surely keep young readers on the edge of their seats. Proceed with caution if your young reader scares easily or is prone to nightmares. Parents may want to give Shadow House a quick read first or read along with their child to make sure the story isn’t going to keep them up at night. (I seriously got the heebie jeebies from some of the illustrations.)
The story itself is a tale of budding friendship in the midst of an action adventure that takes place in the creeptastic Larkspur mansion. There are moments when the storyline is difficult to follow or requires a suspension of disbelief, but the characters are well developed for such a short book (some more than others). The quick pace is just right … until the end, when it screeches to a not-so-satisfying halt. There is very little resolved by the end of the book and very little set up for the sequel. The final pages leave the reader feeling like the ending was rushed and incomplete when they should have some of their questions answered and are left eagerly anticipating the next installment. But the series is just getting started so I can forgive the unanswered questions. Visually, Shadow House is an unparalleled and compelling read and I look forward to the second book in the series.