And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich
on September 6th 2016
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
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When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt's home, it's immediately clear that the "blood manor" is cursed. The creaking of the house and the stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too--the questions that Silla can't ignore: Who is the beautiful boy that's appeared from the woods? Who is the man that her little sister sees, but no one else? And why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer?
“He’s out there,” I say, turning back to the window. “Always watching. Getting stronger.”
And the Trees Crept In is a chilling read perfect for Halloween, or just anytime you want to not sleep.
I, of course, started reading this book at night. Being the fearless reader that I am, I shrugged my shoulders and went to bed afterwards with only one glance inside the closet just to be sure it was empty. Okay, maybe two glances. The real challenge came in the middle of the night when I needed a glass of water. I must have turned on every single light in the house on my trip downstairs. It was almost as if I could hear the same creaking in the walls. Almost as if the tree branches outside the window had taken on a humanoid shape.
This book is one of the few truly scary books I have read. It has a lot of classic horror elements – woods, old houses, dolls, the occasional mirror – but the story turned out to be far better than I expected. It kept me guessing right up until the very end.
It opens with a short prologue, followed by Silla and Nori’s arrival at their aunt Cath’s manor house – a house that has been in the family for generations. Gradually, we will learn why they are there and what they have come from, as well as what happened to Cath and their mother all those years ago. This unfolds in torn journal entries and notes alongside the present story of their time inside the house – Cath’s insanity, the girls’ hunger, the creeping woods, and the strange boy who seemingly appears from nowhere. Silla must work out what is happening and protect her mute sister from the house’s many demons.
There is an increasing feeling of hysteria and panic as we try to pull apart the weirdness and work out whether the woods really are moving towards the house, or whether Silla’s unreliable narrative is becoming increasingly influenced by madness. Is the Creeper Man real? Or is he the invention of children’s minds?
I’ll be honest: the book gets very strange before it eventually makes sense. But I promise that it does make sense in the end. The frightening, confusing sequence of events leading up to the final revelation will probably disorientate you and have you thinking “what the hell is going on?” but it somehow works.
The author creates a claustrophobic world where horror is impossible to escape because it exists at every turn. In the woods outside the house, in the dark corners of the house itself, even in Silla and Nori.
Creepy, compelling and sad.
I'm Emily May - a twenty-something year old book blogger from the North of England. Currently going wherever the wind or the storyline takes me. Find me on Goodreads
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