I’ve really enjoyed reading the Skeleton Creek young adult series of books by Patrick Carman. I actually came upon the first volume while looking through the books at our local Goodwill store. I couldn’t really tell what it was about, since there was nothing written on either cover about the story, but it seemed like a scary tale and I do love horror, so I picked it up and gave it a try.
I immediately liked the main character Ryan, mostly because he is a fellow lover of words who strives to be a great writer. I was surprised to find how much I liked the secondary character, Sarah, who is Ryan’s best friend and his partner in crime. Although Ryan is smart and likeable, Sarah is brave, ferocious and determined to a fault. Her passion for video-making and getting in trouble often puts her in the spotlight and in some ways outshines the reserved, cautious Ryan.
The fourth book in this series, ‘The Raven’ carries on with Sarah and Ryan’s adventures as they seek to unravel the mysteries of a secret organization called ‘The Crossbones’. Like the prior novels in the series, this book has accompanying video clips that you can actually watch online, a hook to be sure, but an effective one. Of course, I was halfway through the first book before I figured out that the website was real…guess I’m just too old to keep up with the current trends in technology!
Anyhow, it seems that this last book tied up all the loose ends, so I’m not sure if the series will continue or not, but it has been an entertaining journey. Several things I have really liked about the series include:
- The videos…a great tool to get reluctant readers, or those who are constantly attached to the computer to sit down and actually read a book!
- The journeys that Sarah makes to real-life haunted places looking for clues. Each stop has it’s own little docu-drama and appeals to ghosthunters like me!
- The entire series, and the last book in particular, have a real connection to Edgar Allan Poe (my favorite writer of all time). It is a fitting tribute to the reigning master of horror, mystery and science fiction stories. It’s always great to see an author who finds a way to interest current youth in classic authors.