It’s September, so you know what that means? We are approaching Spooky Season! I know some of y’all have been celebrating spooky season since August, but I don’t officially start until the weather has chilled! And basically that’s today!
Last year, I read the first book in this MG series and honestly had the best time with it. So I am very glad to be bringing you my review for the sequel today!
The Witching Hours: The Troll Heart by Jack Henseleit
Pub Date: Aug 13, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
The second book in a spooky new series for only the bravest of readers–perfect for fans of The Spiderwick Chronicles!
After their adventures in Transylvania, Anna and Max just want to stay out of trouble. But trouble has other plans…
The Professor takes them to the foggy fields of England, where a new mystery is already afoot: a small boy has vanished near a strange and mysterious river, lost without a trace. Armed with her magical white knife, Anna is convinced that another monster is behind the boy’s disappearance. But when the sinister secret of the river is finally revealed, will she and Max be able to save the missing boy–and themselves?
A deliciously scary modern Brothers Grimm tale, The Troll Heart will keep readers turning pages long after things start to go bump in the night.
*I was provided an ARC by HBG Canada!*
The characters were phenomenal, just like in the first book! We have the lovely, spunky and curious Anna and the ever-so-loyal, mischievous Max! They make such a wonderful pair because they act like real siblings! One minute they’re annoyed with each other, the next minute they are joined at the hip ready to conquer the shadows that lurk in the corners.
There were other quirky characters to be had in this book, like their Professor/father, the hotel owners, farm animals, the creepy and horrifying creatures and others who make this story a lot more interesting. I wish we could get more time exploring who they are, but these are adventures all about Anna and Max!
I thought the setting in a cold, isolated foggy English town was perfect for the story. Much like the first, the atmosphere was perfectly chilling and smoggy. There were so many shadowy corners and very creepy corners. I was so invested in the town and characters that I felt transported!
The plot was very interesting. I liked that despite the fact that it was a new setting, a new fairy tale that the repercussions of the previous novel were still very much pertinent! Anna and Max are still reeling from their previous adventure and have to garner up enough courage and cunning and wits to face a new foe. They’re adventure is a spooky one no doubt, but also full of little funnies, suspense and is fast-paced. The troll was absolutely remarkable! I loved the way he was depicted and the fear he instilled in the characters.
The illustrations, while sparse, were perfect for the book. I loved the scenes that were depicted and obviously wish for more!
It’s a minor one. I think this book was less horror and more mystery. It was scary in some parts, but I felt like throughout the whole story revolved around a riddle to solve that required more wits and brains. I still liked it, I just didn’t get those intense horror-vibes.
Overall, I enjoyed the book very much. It was the perfect follow-up to The Vampire knife and I think lots of middle grade readers will love the series. It’s fun, fast-paced and perfect for the oncoming spooky season!
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Let me know what you think! Have you read this? What spooky books are you looking forward to this fall season? Would you be brave enough to face a troll?