Spooky but not Scary: The Poe Estate | Review
An MG Contemporary Fantasy that wasn't too much for this non-horror fan.
Sukie's been lonely since the death of her big sister, Kitty - but Kitty's ghost is still with her. At first that was comforting, but now Kitty's terrifying anyone who gets too close. Things get even weirder when Sukie moves into her family's ancestral home, and an older, less familiar ghost challenges her to find a treasure. Her classmate, Cole, is also experiencing apparitions. Fortunately an antique broom's at hand to fly Sukie and Cole to the New York Circulating Material Repository's spooky Poe Annex. As they search for clues and untangle ancient secrets, they discover their histories intertwine and are as full of stories of love, revenge, and pirate hijinks as some of the most famous fiction.
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Source: I purchased this book myself from Audible.
The Poe Estate by Polly Shulman, read by Jorjeana Marie, published by Listening Library (2015) / Length: 6 hrs 46 min
This is book #3 in the "The Grimm Legacy" trilogy (also known as "The Repository" series). The books can be read as standalones, but some characters do carry over. The author is not currently planning to write any additional books in this series.
I almost didn't read this book, which would have been a shame. I hadn't liked the previous book in this series and am decidedly not a horror fan; but I did like the first one, and was able to get this one from the library, so I gave it a chance. Turns out that it's my favorite one of the three.
While there are some spooky parts, and they learn about the murder of a young child in the past, the book didn't strike me as scary at all (and I'm a wimp).
Aside from the story itself, I love the whole cast of characters. We get some from the first book and some great new ones.
Sukie: A seemingly typical bookish middle schooler, openly set apart by her grief at the death of her sister and further isolated by the felt, but not understood, presence of the sister's ghost watching over her.
Her family has had to move in with an elderly cousin due to financial difficulties after her sister's long illness and a downturn in the economy. She understands that her parents are doing their best, but still just wants to go home. Her family is close, and although her parents don't know about the ghosts and other strange stuff, the cousin does and is a great support for Sukie & Cole.
Cole: In the past, he teased Elizabeth; but now he's being helpful. Too bad, Kitty's not big on forgiveness.
Elizabeth (the main character from Book #1) is now all grown up and working at The Repository full time. And Andre (Mark's little brother) is now a page. They make a great working pair, and it is fun that he still calls her Libbet (he couldn't pronounce her name when he met her as a small child).
This series posits a world where the lines between fiction & reality are seriously blurred. There is fiction written about real magical objects and real objects whose origins are in fiction. This particular book focuses on the fiction of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edger Allen Poe, and other classic horror writers. There are haunted houses, ghosts, witches brooms, etc.
The beginning skillfully introduced Sukie & her family and the changes that have taken place in their lives.
The ending was emotionally satisfying regarding the current book. Knowing it was the final book in the series, however, I would have liked to know about more about some of the other previous characters.
HIGHLIGHTS / CAUTIONS:
- The scene where Sukie first meets Andre & Elizabeth.
- I like the concept that Sukie is continuing to grow & change but Kitty isn't, so Sukie is outgrowing her.
- The resolution of Sukie & Kitty's relationship.
Character voices differentiated = Yes / Opposite sex voices acceptable = Yes / Accents good = no one seemed to have one, not even the New Yorkers - although they were in Manhattan so maybe they weren't supposed to / Phrasing, Pacing & Pronunciation = Good / Emoting = Good / Speed = Slow. I listened on 1.5 speed, rather than my usual 1.25, and it was just a touch fast
The Poe Estate (The Grimm Legacy #3) by Polly Shulman, read by Jorjeana Marie, published by Listening Library (2015) / Length: 6 hrs 46 min Buy Now | +Goodreads
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