Author: Lindsey Barraclough
Where I got it: From NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review
Beware of Long Lankin, that lives in the moss. . . .When Cora and her younger sister, Mimi, are sent to stay with their elderly aunt in the isolated village of Byers Guerdon, they receive a less than warm welcome. Auntie Ida is eccentric and rigid, and the girls are desperate to go back to London. But what they don't know is that their aunt's life was devastated the last time two young sisters were at Guerdon Hall, and she is determined to protect her nieces from an evil that has lain hidden for years. Along with Roger and Peter, two village boys, Cora must uncover the horrifying truth that has held Bryers Guerdon in its dark grip for centuries -- before it's too late for little Mimi. Riveting and intensely atmospheric, this stunning debut will hold readers in its spell long after the last page is turned.
I was really hoping for a fast paced, creepy ghosty type story with Long Lankin, and under that expectation or hope, I have to admit that I was disappointed.
Mystery surrounds the town of Byers Guerdon, and tragedy has struck there any number of times, with small children disappearing and bad things happening. So when Mimi and Cora arrive at their Great Aunt’s house, the whole town starts talking about the myth, and there are a million rules that the kids don’t understand. Ivy doesn’t want them there because of the history, and the kids certainly don’t want to be there, but there’s no other choice.
Probably my biggest complaint about this book is that it was so freaking long you guys. I swear, we followed the kids in this town through every single day of their time in Byers Guerdon, even though half the days nothing even remotely relevant to the story happened. To the point that every time I looked at the little progress bar on my Kindle I was like seriously????? The rest of my beefs about the book would probably go right out the window if it had been shorter and more engaging.
Second – there was so much down time and so little ever actually came to light about what exactly was creeping around the town, that I was never actually creeped out. There just wasn’t any tension for me, no matter the location, situation, or atmosphere. I attribute this in part to my difficulty staying engaged with the book, but the topic is one that could have been “leave the lights on and read in daylight” scary, but it just wasn’t.
The British (? I think British is appropriate) atmosphere and descriptions were pretty great, and I did enjoy that aspect of the book, but overall I found it challenging to read and stay involved in. I did finish it, but it was with a sigh of relief more than a party in my head.