“The author rewards fans with plenty of light in the finale…An emotionally ambitious series entry that transforms the characters and their world.”
In this paranormal YA sequel, a teenager’s recurring dreams compel him to revisit the strange happenings at his town’s mental health facility.
Sixteen-year-old Jack Alexander can’t stop dreaming about the Linhurst State School and Hospital, Spring Dale’s decrepit mental hospital. In his nightmare, Jack is in the tunnels beneath the Linhurst campus when an unseen, screaming thing approaches him. Soon, an invisible force rockets him to the surface, where a voice shouts, “GO AWAY!” It’s been two years since he and his friend, Celia, explored the then-abandoned place and found lingering spirits. At school, he now has the nickname “Ghost Boy,” and he attends therapy sessions at the behest of his father, Henry. Linhurst is now a successful care facility run by Henry’s friend Dr. Charles Moseley; Jack and Celia volunteer there after school, and even Danny Slater, who used to bully Jack, wants to help out as a security guard. It turns out that people there have been seeing strange green lights, similar to those that Jack witnessed during his last adventure. Linhurst’s tour guide, Suzanne—who’d recently appeared in Jack’s nightmare—was confronted by “an unexplainable force of energy” that burned her arms and scratched the words “GO AWAY” on a tunnel wall. Jack will need to make contact with the angry presence in order to save the day.
For his second outing, author Cassidy (Freeing Linhurst, 2017) effectively emphasizes the psychological ramifications of ghost hunting on his protagonist. As his mother died from cancer when he was only 10, Jack is shown to direct much of his anger toward Henry, who tries often to reach out to his son; the teen also tells his friends that he thinks that he’s “cut out for more” than high school. The forlorn atmosphere of some Linhurst buildings comes alive in descriptions of “concrete block walls covered in peeling green paint, dark water stains, and graffiti,” as well as “Droplets of water [that] sounded like a spoon handle tapping a pot.” The central mystery is dark in tone, but the author rewards fans with plenty of light in the finale.
An emotionally ambitious series entry that transforms the characters and their world.