Following the violent death of his beloved grandfather, Jacob Portman heads to a children’s home on a Welsh island to try and discover the mystery behind the monsters of his grandfather’s childhood stories.
I felt the novel started well, and I enjoyed the initial tension of the grandfather’s murder. However, once Jacob arrived in Wales with his father my interest began to wane for several reasons. The use of photographs was interesting at first, but further on in the novel I felt there were too many, or that some that were included didn’t add much, if anything, to the story. Also, this may seem very picky, and I appreciate that the author is American, but the dialogue between the Welsh people on the island did not come across as natural to me at times (speaking as someone from Wales!)
As a protagonist Jacob isn’t always very likeable, which isn’t necessarily a problem, but I felt that many of the characterisations could have been improved. I also found Jacob’s relationship with Emma uncomfortable, giving her history with his grandfather.
Overall I’d say this is an okay adventure story, especially for a first time author, but I feel that the plot and characters could have been developed further, and I don’t think I’ll continue with the series.