Title: Secrets and Ghosts
Author: Dennis Zaslona
Series: Secrets and Ghosts #1
Genre: MG Paranormal
A boy who doesn’t believe in ghosts
A girl with a terrible secret
And a very haunted hotel…
Even though his dad is a ghost hunter, 13 year old Dan doesn’t believe in spirits and all that weird stuff. Shafilea lives in an old hotel with her grandparents and is tormented at having to keep from her family a terrible secret.
The arrival of Dan and his dad at the hotel triggers off a series of scary events. Dan and Shafi become friends and together they investigate the goings on in the hotel. The happenings get so bad that the kitchen staff are frightened off and the hotel is plunged into crisis.
But Shafi’s friendship with Dan has given away her secret and her future will now no longer be her own. To give Shafi back her happiness and to stop the hotel from closing, Dan must risk his life and his soul to defeat the evil presence that plagues the hotel.
Will the new friendship between Dan and Shafi survive attack by the supernatural and real life forces? Can they save each other? The answers to these questions are not what you might expect.
Source: ARC from the author
This middle grade ghost story is great at setting up a spooky atmosphere. Dan is a fairly ordinary teen, less than impressed that his dad has dragged him away from home to spend most of half-term stuck in a boring hotel while his dad hunts for ghosts. Which Dan doesn’t believe in.
But all is not as it seems in the hotel and there are plenty of spooky goings on to keep a reader interested. There’s also Shafi, the quiet girl Dan sees lurking in corners, who turns out to be just what he needs to liven up his dull half-term.
I really enjoyed the ghostly part of this story. I liked the creepy knocks and the strange occurrences and the way Dan goes from sceptical to scared to brave and determined. He has a few things to deal with in this book, but he handles them pretty well. I liked Shafi too.
I am a little undecided about the way things went towards the end, though. I expected this to be a ghost story, so the turn into real world troubles was a bit of a surprise. It’s a serious issue that the story tackles and while for the most part I think it works, certain moments weren’t what I expected from the Shafi we’d come to know.
For the most part, this was good, an entertaining, ghostly read for fans of paranormal mysteries with a bit of adventure. Regardless of my feelings about the ending, it certainly set things up for a fun series to come.
Secrets and Ghosts is Out Now.
Visit Dennis Zaslona for more details.