This review is spoiler free.
“There were cracks in the moulding that surrounded the town.”
Published: 2020, by Titan Books.
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Fantasy, Paranormal, Fiction, Young Adult, Thriller
Contains: Death, Murder, Violence, Anger, Blood/Gore
‘The Ghost Tree’ follows Lauren, a young girl whose hometown is suddenly torn apart by the bodies of two girls found in someone’s back garden. She doesn’t expect the police to find the killer. After all, the year before her father’s body was found with his heart missing, and everyone moved on. Miranda, her best friend, has become more interested in boy’s than hanging out at the Ghost Tree with her, so when she has a vision of a monster dragging the remains of the girls through the woods, she doesn’t tell her. She doesn’t tell anyone; she’ll find the monster herself.
I’ve been a follower of Christina Henry’s works for quite a while now, so when I heard that she had written another novel I knew I had to get my hands on it immediately. However, it was an overall okay read.
Lauren made for an interesting protagonist, she wasn’t influenced by her friends decisions or felt as if she had to comply with their rules. She lived by her own standards and didn’t submit to peer pressure, which was truly inspiring to read about.
Miranda, however, was quite an infuriating character. Being Lauren’s best friend, she was continuously controlling and manipulative, and yet I felt as if that was the purpose of her character. We weren’t supposed to feel for her, her actions had consequences that meant we felt indifferent towards her, but having so many chapters written from her perspective meant we were subjected to her narrative. It was taxing to read about her.
Jake brought the tone back up though, with his charming ways and enticing relationship with Lauren. He added a little emotion to the novel, emitting positivity to the creepy tale.
The novel itself is split into four sections, with around thirty chapters in each. However, the chapters are short and make for a steady paced read. Although, it dragged slightly in places, and the epic climax only lasted a few pages before the resolution, it was still entertaining and immersive. The language was classic Henry, in that it was blunt and filled with horror and gore, which made for an incredibly addictive read.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel. It wasn’t the ending I was expecting, having hoped for things to take a different turn. However, it still entertained me.