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31 October 2016

Review: The Vanished by Celia Rees

The dark stuff sent to Fraser and Cassie's student newspaper is disturbing.

Old tales are being rewritten. Tales of plague graves, and forbidden woods where children vanish. Hidden steps leading to a decaying underworld. Old songs used to ensnare the innocent.

But they're just horror stories - aren't they?

Then the first child is taken...

Source: Library | Purchase

5 Words: School, mystery, disappearance, horror, family.

I've pretty much lost count of how many times I've read this book. I still remember the first time I read it. I was twelve years old, in maths, and we were doing a statistics exercise about word count and letter count in books. I picked this one.

This is a great little horror, and as much as there is such a fantastical ending, it feels very much grounded in realism. It's quite a chilling read, and even now (well over ten years since my first read) I feel a little nervous when I'm underground or walking past the culvert.

I also liked how this story explored family dynamics and the complications of friendship and teenage attraction. I liked the way the narrative focused on different characters, so that we got a broader view of what was happening.

This is an oldie, but I absolutely love it. It's out of print and you can't get it in e-book format, but there are used copies floating around everywhere.

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