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The Gathering: 03/03/23

The Gathering

The Gathering by Dan Poblocki (2016) is the start of the Shadow House middle grade horror series. Poppy an orphan, twins Dash and Dylan, cellist Marcus, and Azumi whose sister got lost in Japan, are summoned to Larkspur. Each one goes with a different set of expectations: a long lost relative, a TV show, a music school, and a private school. None of those reasons turn out to be true.

Some houses are just hungry for people. Larkspur is like a mix of Hill House and the lodge in Dead Voices. This is a house whose architecture makes no sense. It's bigger on the inside but it's not a TARDIS. Rooms move. Rooms disappear. Hallways grow. And it's haunted.

Like Eleanor and the others summoned to Hill House, these children have already had experience with the paranormal. In one way or another they are haunted. Now in the house, how they've been haunted before will determine which ghost takes a liking to them.

Like the two books I've mentioned in comparison, The Gathering sits on the Road Narrative Spectrum. The children, because of their pairing with a ghost puts them collectively into the scarecrow / minotaur dichotomy of traveler (99). Their destination is home, meaning a place where they feel safe and loved — as Larkspur promised to be but fails at (66). Their route there is the maze (CC) represented literally by the changing interior and metaphorically by the danger they face inside the house.

The second book is You Can't Hide (2016).

Five stars

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