Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh
This is such a fun book! Despite reading the synopsis, I didn’t know what to expect other than some haunted house story but Spirit Hunters is so much more than that.
I really enjoyed the plot and pacing- it was very fast paced and the plot was quite scary for a middle grade book with how plausible all scenarios are 😅 I also love Harper’s family dynamics- it’s not perfect especially since we have complex intergenerational relationship between Harper, her mother, and her grandmother- but I love how close Harper is with her brother Michael and how present the parents are. My favorite part is the fact that Harper’s grandmother is a Mu (korean shaman) and how much I learned about Korean Shamanism in this book! I think I’ve watch too many Korean horror movies that I got scared with the imagery, but reading this book makes me appreciate the rich history. It also cause us to delve into the topics of preserving our heritage as well the unaddressed gap between Harper’s mom and her grandmother. Meeting a lot of friendly ghosts is actually also a really fun part of the story!
I also want to appreciate Dayo, Harper’s new friend from the neighborhood. Dayo gives a much needed levity and fun to the story and I love how she 100% trusts Harper and willing to help her when things get scary, even though they haven’t been friends for long. Reading about them made me miss how easy it was to make friends when we were young 🥺 Also, the Jamaican food and cookies Dayo’s mom made me really hungry- don’t read this on an empty stomach!
Overall this is a really fun with the right-amount-of-creepy middle grade story! I would say the lack of communication annoyed me while reading, but I don’t think the book was too childish or immature. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for some middle grade horror to read!
Harper doesn’t trust her new home from the moment she steps inside, and the rumors are that the Raine family’s new house is haunted. Harper isn’t sure she believes those rumors, until her younger brother, Michael, starts acting strangely. The whole atmosphere gives Harper a sense of déjà vu, but she can’t remember why. She knows that the memories she’s blocking will help make sense of her brother’s behavior and the strange and threatening sensations she feels in this house, but will she be able to put the pieces together in time?
The Island of Monsters by Ellen Oh
I like this even better than the first one! I can’t say much because I don’t want to spoil the first book, but the island setting of this book was perfect! It was beautiful and really transported you, but at the same time you can still sense that something is wrong with the island. I will say this is scarier than the first book, with higher stakes and actual deaths. As always, the pacing, writing, and plot were all on point- as this is set on an isolated island, the lore and the atmosphere was built really well. I also had so much fun with Harper and her friends and see her have more time with Kelly.
I love how in this book we got to see more of Harper in action and I admire how much she has grown into herself! My only qualms with this book is how the ending wasn’t really fleshed out? But apparently the third book is coming so I will be waiting here (im)patiently for it to be released!
We Need Diverse Books founder Ellen Oh delivers the next haunting tale in her acclaimed middle grade series Spirit Hunters, a mix of captivating mystery and chilling ghost story.
The perfect spooky listen for Halloween, this pulse-pounding adventure will leave you shocked at every twist.
Harper Raine faces new challenges ahead when her parents take the whole family to a remote tropical island for vacation. As Harper starts to have visions of the resort’s history of disappearances and discovers more about the island’s dark and fabled past, she must use her newly acquired spirit hunting talents to save everyone on the island from murderous spirits on the attack.
An exciting and spooky middle grade series, perfect for Halloween.