By Charles Gilman
Published by Quirk
BooksISBN 978 1 59474 593 5
Robert Arthur is a student at Lovecraft Middle School, an educational establishment that is far from what it seems. The school was built from the ruins of Tillinghast Mansion, where mad scientist Crawford Tillinghast carried out unspeakable experiments to discover the darkest secrets of the universe. But all that is in the past, and Lovecraft Middle School now stands innocently on the site of what was once a very dark place.
Tillinghast, both man and mansion, are no more. But what about those strange scratching sounds and feelings of unease that disturb lessons at the school?
Charles Gilman has conjured up this inventive setting for his new series of spookfest novels, "Tales from Lovecraft Middle School". Readers in the know will recognise that the school is named after H.P. Lovecraft, the famous American writer of classic horror stories. This is Gilman's nod at the sort of tales to feature in this sure-to-be-a-hit series.
In Gilman's first Lovecraft story, Professor Gargoyle, student Robert Arthur discovered the truth about what was really going on within the walls of his school. Robert found out that Tillinghast Mansion still exists, but in another dimension. Lovecraft Middle School is riddled with portals between the two realms, and Tillinghast himself is intent on sending destructive forces into the world through the school. Nothing and nobody is safe.
The Slither Sisters is the second book in the series, and sticks to the same formula - part horror story, part school story.
Sarah and Sylvia Price are two of Lovecraft Middle School's most popular students. They are attractive, bright and well-liked by both staff and students.
But teen hero Robert and his friends, Glenn and Karina, know that the Price sisters are not human. The bodies of the real sisters have been taken over by two monsters sent into the school through one of the portals. Robert, Glenn and Karina must unmask the twins for what they really are.
It's very easy to get into the spooky swing of The Slither Sisters, even if there's no prize for guessing what type of monster the Price sisters turn into when no one is looking. The novel's plot and characters are fairly predictable, but Gilman pulls off a couple of nice twists at the end.
The Slither Sisters is great for younger readers who enjoy a giggle at Halloween-type scares.
John Millen can be contacted on MillenBookshelf@aol.com