Matt Monroe and the Haunted House
by Edward Torba
All Points Press

"Thick fingers of low-lying fog floated toward Matt. Curiosity urged him to walk forward, but what lay ahead?"

After their last adventure in the magical realm of Paragon, Matt Monroe and his friends are eager to get back to what passes as normal life for them. Back in school and under the watchful eye of their parents, Matt hides a series of terrifying nightmares about his arch-nemesis Damien, and Josh is hiding his unhealing wound suffered at the hands of a dragon. When Matt is out delivering papers, he encounters Nathaniel and Annabelle Parker, two children who were murdered in the town nearly a century ago. This contact leads to a new supernatural adventure that only Matt and his friends in The Brotherhood can embark upon. With vengeful ghosts, deadly poisons, and the shadow of Damien’s influence in every danger, the group of teens and their allies must be ready for whatever comes their way.

As this story deals with some grim accounts and gory details, some younger readers may not quite be ready for this book. However, the author does a great job of writing with an advancing reader in mind without writing down to their supposed level. The setting and attitudes of the characters in this sequel prove timeless, allowing readers of any age who can handle the danger and the horror elements a welcome glimpse into adventurous and headstrong youth. Nearly every character in the story is given an opportunity to take center stage and show off their personal quirks and strengths, which is impressive considering the interlocking groups and alliances that make up both the heroes and villains of the book. Readers new to Matt’s adventures will be better served by starting from the beginning in order to understand the conflict he finds himself in the middle of, but as a stand-alone story, this still works well.

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