Buried Thunder

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Paula Willey
The Rowan Tree Inn has sat placidly under its thatched roof in a picturesque English forest village for centuries. When fourteen-year-old Maya moves in with her parents and older brother, however, she finds the place anything but peaceful. Disturbing visions, eviscerated foxes, and sinister townspeople seem to conspire with scary night-time noises to keep her thoroughly freaked out. An old-fashioned horror mystery for fans of Christopher Pike and Lois Duncan, this book is oddly bereft of both backstory and character development: we never discover why Maya's family has moved from London or why her parents and brother are so supportive and protective of her. The resolution of the mystery bears an unfortunate resemblance to an episode of Scooby Doo, and the reveal is artificially drawn out. For all its flaws, however, Buried Thunder is a quick, compulsively readable, page-turner. Reviewer: Paula Willey
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Maya Munroe's family has just bought a quaint inn in the small village of Hembury. While her parents and brother are excited about the move, Maya is filled with an inexplicable sense of dread. She is afraid of her new bedroom, and in the forest abutting the village she finds three dead bodies that no one else can see. Strange noises at night, half-wild teens, and a mysterious fox drive her to irrational behavior. Something is wrong in Hembury and Maya knows that death is coming, but can she do anything about it? Unfortunately the mystery at the center of the story is just not that compelling. Throughout the narrative, the author hints at supernatural causes but in the end everything is explained in mundane terms. Too much needs to be explicitly revealed to the main characters-and to readers-for the story to make sense. And too much (Maya's "psychic" abilities, the fox, strange figures carved on trees, the meaning of the title, etc.) is never explained at all. A disappointing offering from Bowler.—Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School, CA
Kirkus Reviews

This spine-tingler plunges into the stuff of nightmares.

"The body was lying in a thicket," it begins. Fourteen-year-old Maya doesn't remember why she ran off the path in this dark forest. Two dead bodies lie on the ground, each turning its head with eyes aglow. A shadowy figure bends over a third body. Maya stumbles and screams. Her family finds her and guides her out of this terrifying forest, but when they reach their new home/business—a village hotel called the Rowan Tree—something chilling occurs: A police officer sent to investigate is the same person as the first dead body. Not a twin, not a doppelganger—the same person. Maya just knows. Fright and grisliness escalate. Someone unknown and unseen stalks Maya; a fox has an unnatural power to make her follow it; foxes are turning up disemboweled and decapitated—and not just foxes. The narration stays faithful to Maya's third-person-limited perspective, so readers don't know who's good or bad any earlier than she does. Maya's warm parents and dedicated older brother can't shield her or the village from danger, and they become targets too. There's nothing particularly unique or specific about Maya and her family, which works well here, as if this could happen to anyone. When clarity and answers come, they're sad, satisfying and less supernatural than they first seemed.

Horror with heart.(Horror. 12-15)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823423972
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/16/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,284,286
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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