Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Today's read... Why They Came by Chris von Halle

My oldest kids were RL Stine fans...okay, I need to add that there weren't exactly many great English books available at the library, where we lived in Germany, but they had several of these spookier reads, and those were some of their favorites. 

And what does that have to do with today's read? Quite a bit, actually.

Today, we're taking a look at the 4th book in the Between Dark and Light series, one which does remind of RL Stine but with more thrills and less nonsensical-weirdness (I'm thinking gooey monster under summer camp, which wasn't scary in the slightest—my kids weren't won over by that RL Stine one, either). But today's series is also for slightly older readers, ages 10 and up. 

I've taken a look at some of the earlier books in this one (yes, it can happen) and was thrilled to learn there's a new tale. These books do not relate to each other, meaning they can be picked up in any order. Each story holds an independent plot with new characters.

So, let's see if this latest story is as good as the first ones in the series.

Between Dark and Light
by Chris von Halle
Upper Middle Grade Horror
163 pages
ages 10 and up

Dad's been acting strange lately...

Like everyone else on Earth, twelve-year-old Drake Hamilton’s just trying to survive a terrifying alien invasion. All around the world, more and more people are witnessing a small, pale, human-like creature randomly appearing next to them, touching their bare skin with its own, and then disappearing. Afterward, the Touched people possess all kinds of superpowers, like the ability to fly, turn invisible, among other things. Trouble is, the vast majority of their heads explode shortly after that.

So, Drake and his family follow all the new societal rules to a tee—wear gloves, long sleeves, and pants at all times, and never touch an extra-terrestrial. But then something happens with Drake’s dad. Something incredibly strange, unexpected, and horrifying in its own right. And something that makes Drake start to suspect he, his family, and the rest of humanity have a lot more on their plates concerning the alien invasion than they ever could’ve imagined…

Between Dark and Light is a series of nonconnected children’s horror books featuring strange, eerie, supernatural events. Ages 10 & older!



Aliens and superpowers mix with mystery, exploding heads, and chilling moments to form an exciting and surprising adventure.

Drake doesn't recognize the world, anymore. A week before, little human-like creatures began to pop up around the world. They'd touch an unexpecting human's skin, disappear instantly, and the person developed amazing superpowers. For one hour. Then, their heads exploded. There was the 5% chance the person would survive, but then, their powers would be gone. There are rules in place to keep everyone as safe as possible, but the incidents grow by the day...and then, a boy in Drake's class gains the power to fly. But that's not the only disturbing thing. Drake's own father is acting more than weird...and not telling the truth.

The story dives right into the middle of the already-underway, alien invasion with Drake witnessing his first possession right in front of his eyes. The tension mounts high and fast as this newly formed superhero turns out to tilt toward the super-villain side. And it gets a tiny bit gritty, which means this one is for less sensitive readers ages 10 and up (but it's not overly heavy, by any means, either). Horror, mystery and action fans will be hooked right away. 

There's a nice bit of character arc, family love, and friendship built in as well. While Drake is trying to mentally sort through the alien thing, while dealing with his dad's odd behaviors, he's also learning more about himself and his relationships to those around him. Now, that isn't to say this is an emotional/heartfelt tale because it is mystery with a bit of horror thrown in. But this deeper side-step does make Drake a more realistic character and engaging to follow as he faces the impossible. 

With less than 150 pages, this is a short, quick read, too...which is great for more reluctant readers out there. The story runs along smoothly, sticking to the action and important factors to drive it forward. The ending does follow a more quirky-ish twist, which makes it great for the age group and does remind a little more of RL Stine's fun. Everything is wrapped up nicely and in a very surprising way. So, I do recommend this one for thriller fans, who are ready for a unique and exciting tale. 

1 comment:

Natalie Aguirre said...

I'm not a horror fan, but a story about aliens and superpowers sounds interesting. It sounds like a fast read, which is appealing too. Glad you're enjoying this series.