When Josie and her brothers uncover a haunted camera, the Mothman legend becomes a terrifying reality that threatens their entire town in this spooky and action-filled novel. Josie may live in the most haunted town in America, but the only strange thing she ever sees is the parade of oddball customers that comes through her family's auction house each week. But when she and her brothers discover a Polaroid camera that prints pictures of the ghost of local recluse John Goodrich, they are drawn into a mystery dating back over a hundred years. A desperate spirit, cursed jewelry, natural disasters, and the horrible specter of Mothman all weave in and out of the puzzle that Josie must solve to break the curse and save her own life.
The Mothman's CurseFeatured
Josie and Fox make a terrific brother-sister team. Not only do they work the auction house well and are helpful to their family, but they also do a fantastic job at figuring out the Mothman curse and dealing with it in an effective manner. Fox starts off the book as kind of a goof, but manages to become more serious, and Josie goes from being a fearful shadow of her brother to being the kind of girl who is willing to sacrifice herself if that is the only recourse. Their mother is dead, which was an unnecessary bit of sadness, but they are handling their grief well. The other adults in their lives are supportive and helpful.
The use of local legend, landmarks and lore works very well and makes for a story that is much creepier than the cartoonish cover would indicate. Like the southeastern Ohio setting in Black's Doll Bones, this view of Athens is a bit gritty and macabre, but never devolves into "hillbilly" stereotypes. The descriptions of place don't weigh the book down at all, but are deftly worked into a plot that is well paced and which has its share of action and suspense.
A haunted Polaroid has been used before, in the Scholastic Poison Apple Now You See Me, but this works, too! I was glad that the camera in Mothman's Curse didn't require film!