Monday, November 18, 2019

Book Review | Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn

Deep and Dark and Dangerous is a middle grade horror book by Mary Downing Hahn.

Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn

A family secret is at the root of Mary Downing Hahn's story of supernatural events in Maine. Ali, 13, is eager to spend her vacation with Aunt Dulcie, helping to care for her little niece, Emma, in the lake house where Dulcie and Claire, Ali's mother, spent summers. Claire, who is phobic about water, is dead set against her going but is forced to agree. The vacation by the lake turns unpleasant when Ali and Emma meet a mean, spiteful kid named Sissy. Emma idolizes and imitates Sissy, becoming bratty and hostile and accepting Sissy's dangerous dares.

Sissy keeps talking about Teresa, a girl who drowned under mysterious circumstances when Claire and Dulcie were kids. At first Ali thinks Sissy is just trying to scare her with a ghost story, but soon she discovers the real reason why Sissy is so angry: she is the ghost of Teresa and blames Claire and Dulcie for her death.

What a perfect book to read on the heels of reading Violet by Scott Thomas {review}! This book could have easily been his inspiration behind writing Violet.

Deep and Dark and Dangerous is a middle grade ghost story. I really enjoyed the ghosty bits of this one. It's a great book for young horror lovers. I would have loved it back in my Lois Duncan days!

Unfortunately, the characters didn't always work well for me. The main character is Ali, and she often flipped from being mature to acting like a young child. This is probably true to life, but I think middle grade readers would appreciate spending time with her more than I did. I didn't find the 6 year old character to be very realistic either, but I'm not exactly the intended audience.

If you are looking for a spooky story set on the lake, Deep and Dark and Dangerous is a quick (and younger) ghostly tale.



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  1. I don't usually read MG but I love that MG horror exists!

    1. Right?! MG is where the fan making happens. Let's shape these young readers. :)

  2. I've really liked the few Mary Downing Hahn books I've read. And I loved Lois Duncan growing up! :)

  3. That's too bad about the characters, but nice that it works for a younger audience maybe. :)

  4. I love that there are horror books for middle grade. This sounds like it has some promise.

  5. I love MG horror, but character's that don't have a steady maturity drive me a little batty.

  6. is this book a dystopian novel????


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