Voice of Youth Advocates

A year has passed since that fateful night when celebrated horror author Ian Tremblin held a writer’s contest at Daemon Hall that left four young writers forever traumatized and a fifth dead. To eradicate the misfortune of that first contest, Mr. Tremblin has decided to host a second one for three writers at his own home. With past winner Wade Reilly acting as judge, all writers will read original stories they created based on titles from the book of Daemon Hall, an old book once belonging to Rudolph Daemon. Although the book appears blank, when the writers recite their stories, it begins to write itself, sharing its own version of those macabre stories from Daemon Hall’s origins. As the horrors unfold, the group finds itself transported back to Daemon Hall circa 1933, reliving the house’s history of madness and murder. When the group is separated and Mr. Tremblin possessed, Wade, Millie, Lucinda, Matt, and Demarius struggle to overcome the evil that is slowly trying to kill them.

Nance writes a compelling sequel to Daemon Hall (Henry Holt, 2007/VOYA April 2007). The characters are distinct but predictable, with the short stories seamlessly intermingling with the main story line to create a spine-tingling read. The tale “A Patchwork Quilt” will turn the stomach of more delicate readers in true slasher flick fashion, with one horrifying twist after another to keep them guessing. The final cliff-hanger leaves room for Nance to introduce the third installment of this thrilling tale. Fans of blood, gore, and hauntings will undoubtedly enjoy this book, as will libraries looking to recommend a great horror read to teens.—Laura Panter, VOYA.