Into the Grey.
Kiernan, Celine (Author) Aug 2014. 304 p. Candlewick, hardcover, $16.99. (9780763670610).
When 15-year-old twins Dominick and Patrick lose their home to a fire, their family moves to the seaside cottage where they usually spend their summers. Everything seems run of the mill, until the twins start having vivid, terrifying dreams about a bad man coming to take them, and when they wake they’re filled with a ravenous, mindless hunger. Soon the dreams start bleeding into reality, and Pat sees an ominous WWI soldier lurking in the shadows. Then he wakes to a terrifying goblinlike creature talking to his brother in the night. When Dom becomes possessed by a ghost and his body turns dangerously ice-cold, no one in their loving family save Pat seems to notice, so he takes it upon himself to dig up clues about the ghost in the hopes that he can rescue his twin. Dom and Pat share a deeply loving bond, which makes Pat’s panic over Dom’s transformation palpable. In stark, eerie passages, Kiernan tells a gripping story as much about the love between brothers as it is about ghosts. — Sarah Hunter
Into the Grey. Candlewick, 2014. 304p. $16.99. 978-0-763-67061-0.
VOYA: 3Q 3P J S
This award-winning export from Ireland is an atmospheric ghost story set in the 1970s. After Nan burns down the house, Dom and Pat’s family move into a seaside cottage. At night they both have weird dreams, and soon Dom is speaking with the goblin-boy, a strange ghostlike creature that is afraid of the soldier. When Dom is possessed by it, Pat knows that he has to save his brother since his parents are oblivious to the changes in Dom. Joint hauntings and not-so-scary ghosts become the focus in the last part of the novel.
When Pat initially hears and sees the goblin-boy, the tension and atmosphere are genuinely creepy. The creepiness slowly disappears once Dom is possessed. Pat’s confusion, anger, and frustration are authentic. The appearance of James, the old man, and Nan’s sudden lucidness are convenient for the author to fill in the blanks for Pat and the not-Dom. In the end, the author has created an interesting realm of the afterlife within a story that has multigenerational focuses, making it a richer account. Readers may struggle with some of the historical details, as well as the heavy usage of Irish and British slang and accents, but if they soldier on, they will be rewarded with a ghost story that encompasses heartache from two generations and the love brothers have for their twins—both living and dead.—Kristin Fletcher-Spear.