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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Book Review: Possessed by Kate Cann

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 336 Pages
Publisher: Point (February 1, 2010)

Synopsis: Rayne can't wait to start her summer job at a remote country mansion, far from the crowded, noisy London she so desperately wants to escape. But the retreat soon turns into a nightmare -- the mansion is creepy, the legends of ghosts keep Rayne up at night, and she doesn't feel safe anywhere.

Can Rayne figure out why she's so freaked -- before she becomes a ghost story herself?

Sixteen–year old Rayne leaves the claustrophobia of inner city life behind when she travels from East London to Morton's Keep, an old beautiful residence with a mysterious history shrouded in the supernatural. After a spine tingling, spooky first night she is unable to sleep and begins to suspect that there is more to Morton's Keep than its palatial grounds, historical oddities and Gothic architectural elements. For one, her employer, the elderly Mrs. Driver always seems jumpy and avoids the subject. Rayne, determined to avoid the stifling confines of the crowded flat she shared with her mother and younger brother, decides to press on. She convinces herself that the noises, sightings and ominous feelings of sinister presences are the workings of an overwrought imagination. But soon, Rayne is immersed in the mysteries of Morton's Keep and the growing evil contained within its walls. Can she trust Ethan, the mysterious fire group member, or St. John, the guy who sometimes seems like he isn’t all he claims to be?

With elements of Gothic mystery, eerie, supernatural presences and sordid, historical pasts, Possessed is a real gem of a book. The British slang took awhile for me to warm up to- at first I found it very disconcerting, and almost put the book down. But then I got used to it and it grew on me. I loved Rayne. She was a strong female lead and her relationship with St. John had me on the edge of my seat as I grew to distrust him more and more. Morton's Keep began to feel like a character in and of itself with it’s eerie past, grotesque artifacts and strange architectural elements. Kate Cann did a great job capturing my imagination with the mansion and I could picture it all so vividly, right down to musty carpet and oppressive darkness. Having Rayne actually sleep in the Sty, which was closer to the woods, added even more tension to the novel for me, and I never quite felt like she was safe enough outside in that rickety building at night.

Rayne had to make some tough choices, with the mounting pressures from home and the possibility of malevolent forces aligning themselves within the old English manor. Throw in her ever growing distrust of her newfound friends, and you've got a great page turner. I finished this book in one evening and then went to bed, jumping at every sound for at least an hour afterward. I wanted to get up for a drink of water, but stayed in bed for fear something would grab my legs and pull me under!

Kate Cann lives in England with her husband, daughter, son, and dog. She worked as an editor for many years before writing several books for teens, including Spanish Holiday and Grecian Holiday. For more about Kate and her novels, visit www.katecann.com.


Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

This looks way good. I love haunted house type stories.

Melissa said...

This sounds so good, and I love your thoughts on it! Great job :)

The Graef Family! said...

Everyone who has read this book seems to love it. I can't wait to get it!!


Nice review, I started reading it but I am having a bit of hard time getting into it. I hope it picks up though :)