One last set of Halloween reviews!
We read this one a while ago, and then re-checked it out after seeing and reading the sequel and thought both would be perfect for Halloween and the month of October reviews.
Logan and his bully friends on expensive ATVs chase Nico and his quadcopter over the cliff into Still Cove. Nico's friends Emma and Tyler, and one reluctant quasi-bully, Opal, rescue him and together they discover an island hidden in the fog off the coast.
At the heart of the island is a boat anchored to the bottom of a lake, but in the bottom of the boat is something really weird -- the Darkdeep. It's a strange well of non-water and when they jump into it, it spits them back out on the lake's shore -- and gives life to whatever fantastical things they were thinking of when they jumped in. It's impossible and of course starts out harmless enough, but soon they're facing the likes of Godzilla.
I won't spoil how it ends, or how the kids become Torchbearers and learn to vanquish the Darkdeep's creations. Even Logan helps, by the end.
It's a good, creepy Halloween read.
In this sequel, the five teens -- Nico, Opal, Tyler, Emma and Logan -- discover that perhaps they haven't totally shut down the Darkdeep afterall. The leaks -- beginning with a full-fledged Pokemon Charizard -- start coming at the worst possible time, right before the town's Saturday Halloween festival and the Torchbearers' daggers are mysteriously no longer working to dispell the creatures.
To make matters worse, rumors of "The Beast," the sort of Lochness monster haunting / protecting the waters around the island where the Darkdeep is hidden, have trickled down to the producer of a reality-TV show, Freakshow, Colton Bridger. Bridger is determined to find the source of the rumors and rake in the ratings, at any cost.
But then Opal starts getting messages from the green Thing in the jar. She trusts it, a decision which turns out to be far more important than any of them could have imagined. It holds both the key to the Torchbearers understanding their new roles and restoring balance to the breach in the portal between worlds.
Emma infiltrates Bridger's crew as a grip and tries to keep them away from the The Beast and the Darkdeep, but things quickly spiral out of control and before they know it, it's full-video'ed mayhem at the festival, with monsters and goblins of all sorts and even The Beast making an appearance.
I won't spoil the ending, just know there's no clear bad guy here -- well, maybe Bridger, but even he's pitiable by the end.
A fun Halloween-inspired read!