by Dawn Kurtagich
Published on September 6, 2016 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
A stunning, terrifying novel about a house the color of blood and the two sisters who are trapped there, by The Dead House author Dawn Kurtagich
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?
Filled with just as many twists and turns as The Dead House, and with achingly beautiful, chilling language that delivers haunting scenes, AND THE TREES CREPT IN is the perfect follow-up novel for master horror writer Dawn Kurtagich.
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The trees are creeping ever closer.
Can you hear them creak?
Though not one for horror, this book may have changed that. And The Trees Crept In follows Silla, a teen charged with the care of her younger sister Nori in a place that’s there but not quite. A place of insanity yet horrid reality.
I honestly don’t know where to start. The writing style makes it hard to talk about the plit without spoilers so just know that there was no way I would have EVER guessed that plot twist at the end. Part of the timeline follows Silla’s mother and aunts as children, their antics in the Python Woods leading to the creation of the Creeper Man, their so-called protector. But the majority of Silla’s tale is in her writing, bits and pieces broken up through a narrative of her arrival at La Baume through to 3 years later and the arrival of the boy Gowan. The back-and-forth built up the tension and I was thankful I read this in the middle of the day instead of late at night per my usual habits.
Silla’s insanity is something to behold. When she arrives at the manor, ravaged by a terrible home life with an abusive father, it seems like a place of safety. But as I continued to read, I watched Silla drift into madness. I fell into the madness. Each section, each chapter, twisted the world ever closer to the depths of Silla’s mind. As a narrator, she’s unreliable. She’s the voice inside your head when the lights go out, when the wind beats against the walls and the floors creak in the halls. She’s that part of you, that paranoia, the worst thoughts that haunt the shadowed corners of your mind.
I fell victim to Silla and her thoughts. To the Creeper Man. The setting was written beautifully and in a way that only revealed enough to keep you moving from one page to the next. It was a slow start as Kurtagich established the basis for the madness but it quickly picked up. Each time I thought the story was over there was still more yet.
While captivating, And The Trees Crept In doesn’t top my favorites list. It holds its own certain horrific magic that hooked me from beginning to end but it’s not a book I’ll want to return to if I can help it. I have absolutely no intentions of suffering from the nightmares it might evoke.
This book is not for the faint of heart or the late nights curled up in the safety of bed as you’ll soon find yourself wondering if, perhaps, the trees are getting closer. The halls are not as empty as when you closed your door for the night. Someone is watching. Is it the Creeper Man? Or is it your worst fears?
In the end, we’re all mad here.
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