Review Detail

Middle Grade Fiction 195
They're creepy and they're kooky, they're altogether ooky...Aug
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
This was illustrated in an amusing way, and the colors were very pleasant. Dead End Springs at Halloween is a very enticing place, and the horrors are all fairly benign. There's a well developed backstory with Iris and Halloway that comes to a satisfactory conclusion, and by the end all of the various threads are tied up nicely. Even Dahlia, who is portrayed as very spooky at the beginning, is shown to be nice and helpful. I often have students asking for fantasy graphic novels, and there aren't as many of them as there are of graphic personal memoirs.

The illustrations are very vibrant, and add to the kooky feel to the world of the monsters and the town they are near. The palette varies between the bright colors of the cover to a darker one showing what life is like in the mansion when things are not going well. I can see the characters inspiring a lot of readers to draw them!

This is a great choice for readers who enjoyed Whitley and Indigo's The Dog Knight or Graley's Donut the Destroyer, or Escabasse's The Witches of Brooklyn.

Good Points

Iris lives in a mansion with other "misfits", in a Mr. Halloways' House of Horrors in Dead End Springs. Agnes, a cyclops, helps Mr. Halloway, who often travels to find and bring back other mistreated horrors and to give them a better life. He seems not to like Iris at all, but she doesn't know why. When the annual Fall Festival is advertised on television, Iris really wants to go see it, and chafes at being confined to the house, even if it is for her own safety. Since it is a Halloween festival, she feels that she, Agnes, and Kel can go out in costumes and not be noticed. They sneak out when Mr. Holloway is traveling, but there are some things that go wrong. Dahlia, who is a rather creepy doll, manages to escape and turn all of the dolls in a local shop into "horrors". Surprisingly, the townspeople like them, which makes Iris question why she and her friends have to be kept in the mansion. There is also a young horror hunter, Mathias, who lives with his aunt. She has a history with Halloway, and a real hatred of the horrors that Mathias has picked up. Will Iris be able to obtain a level of freedom for her friends once Dead End Springs accepts them?
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