Monday, June 23, 2008

DAEMON HALL, by Andrew Nance

DAEMON HALL, by Andrew Nance (Henry Holt, 2007)(ages 10+). Best-selling horror writer Ian Tremblin is holding a short story writing contest for teens - the winner will get to have his or her story published.

The catch? The five finalists must spend the night with Ian in Daemon Hall, the infamous haunted mansion whose builder killed his entire family, then hanged himself in the study. The five arrive at sundown, per instructions, without phones or flashlights and accompany Ian upstairs, where they read their stories aloud. At the end of the night, Ian will pick the winner. If any survive...

DAEMON HALL is a fun yet seriously creepy novel. The individual contestants' stories are themselves engaging and the over-arching framework successfully works to build the suspense, as the reader is caught up in the mystery of what is going on and who, if anyone, will make it through the night.

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