Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 99
These Fleeting Shadows
(Updated: July 31, 2022)
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
What worked: Creepy, surreal story of Helen Vaughan and a mysterious ancestral home filled with deadly secrets. This story had an almost Edgar Allan Poe feel going for it with ghostly mysteries that keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Helen doesn't get why her mother is not too happy to return to her family home after the death of her father. Helen doesn't have too many memories of life there except for one unfortunate accident with a childhood peer. There are hints throughout the story that might be hard to connect to the bigger piece of the puzzle. A few times I did have to go back and check what was happening. The surreal sensation is where the story reminded me of a few shorts by Edgar Allan Poe. Helen is a complex teen whose struggles to make sense of the atmospheric feel of Harrowstone Hall compel her to find out more. This happens when after her grandfather's death she's given the Hall but only on the condition, that she stays for a year. To say weird things occur during her stay is an understatement. One of these is how she finds herself outside and covered in dirt.

Her estranged family has its own secrets. Secrets that hint at a deadly past. Young girls have been missing. These victims have ties to the Hall.

Helen does find a journal with entries from the mid-1800s that give clues on the origins of the house that involve horrific practices the family has done to keep Harrowstone Hall.

There's a queer love interest with Bryony who is known as the 'Hallow Witch'. Bryony has her own secrets.

Engaging, spooky horror story where a girl finds out that not is all that it seems. She needs to solve a mystery that will affect not only her family but herself as well.

Good Points
1. Creepy, surreal story of a young girl and a mysterious ancestral home
2. Knives Out meets Winchester
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