Recommended for ages 11-14
Charlie Harker is not having a great day. He’s in trouble on his last day of school; his mom met him to tell him there’s no more money left – their absentee dad spent them all into debt, and she’s putting Charlie, his sister, Lillith, and his brother, Johnny, to work over the summer to renovate his grandfather’s old inn in the boring town of Rolling Hills. The only excitement seems to come from local conspiracy nut, Miles Van Helsing.
Charlie realizes, pretty quickly, that there may be something to Miles’ ramblings. People are acting weird, and Charlie decides to help Miles investigate further. There’s definitely something going on in Rolling Hills, but will Charlie and Miles be the next victims?
This is a fun humor/horror story; think of Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets old-school Fright Night. There are some nice nods to horror history, including references to George Romero and The Lost Boys, not to mention the obvious Dracula references in the boys’ last names. The ending leaves the possibility for a sequel. It’s a good end-of-summer read, and readers who shy away from gore and horror may be drawn in by the sarcastic narration and overall humor.