The Griffins of Castle Cary

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

I wasn't sure what to expect, but I enjoyed reading this. An interesting story with fun characters. Well written.
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A Ghost Story with Style and a Bit of Bite

This book isn't exactly Shirley Jackson level, but it has a lot more to it than might at first appear. From blurbs and jackets it's always hard for me to tell whether a middle grade ghost story is going to skew to the Scooby-Doo end of the scale or to the more unnerving horror side. This book struck me as just the right level of twisty, atmospheric and unnerving, without being nightmare inducing.

MILD GENERAL GENRE SPOILERS FOLLOW. When you have three siblings sent to distant relatives in the countryside, and the youngest kid has imaginary friends, and there are ghosts involved, you pretty much know right off the bat who's going to get possessed and who's going to have to do the saving. Fair enough. But there are a lot of different ways you can play that.

Here, we have three kids who are fairly well developed by the author. They have distinct personalities, and rather than being just "types" they actually mature and grow on the reader over time. They also support and encourage each other, with minimum conflict or rivalry, and I always find that refreshing and appealing in sibling stories. More surprising, the ghosts aren't just all purpose good/evil entities with metaphorical sheets over their heads. Without giving too much away, the ghost(s?) in this book have issues that are rather touching and that elicit sympathy from the reader. They are angry and sad, and their intentions are misguided, but the ghosts make sense in their own ghosty way and hold their own as important characters. That's pretty impressive for a middle grade read and avoids a lot of the more common middle grade ghost tropes.

In addition to these living and dead characters we get some perfectly fine supporting players. They are set out in a fine, atmospheric country manor, with fields and sheep and a big dog and a haunted castle, and so on. There is a fair amount of action, and some very nice plot twists and complications, but a good deal of attention is devoted to building up clues and then tension and then dread as a lead up to the action. While this is all very well written, and while each individual scene moves along at a brisk enough pace, the book is longer than usual and might try the patience of a younger reader looking for just a quick scare. The book isn't "Turn of the Screw", but it does sometimes take its own time to get places. 

My bottom line was that this would have been fine as just a traditional kids in the country bucolic adventure. The ghost elements upped the ante considerably, and the book ended up being a real treat.

(Please note that I received a free advance will-self-destruct-in-x-days Adobe Digital copy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
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I really enjoyed this one!  Three siblings visit their Aunt (and the best Newfoundland dog ever!) in the English countryside and encounter two ghosts...already the premise was intriguing!  I really enjoyed the three siblings - all with their distinct personalities, but I especially liked that the older two were thick-as-thieves and left the youngest one out (in my experience with my three cousins it seemed that there's always one sort of left out, and at that age it was definitely the youngest one!)  I just really found I could relate to each of them in different ways, and I really enjoyed their journey of discovery.

I did find the first half a little slow with introducing everyone, but once it got going it really got going and I was hard-pressed to put it down!  Anyone who enjoys a good ghost story will surely enjoy this one.
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I really loved this one! If your a fan of ghost stories, this book will not disappoint! I enjoyed the three siblings and their adventures once they were visiting their aunt. I didn’t want it to end, I would definitely be interested reading other books from this author, 
Thank you to Simon and Schuster and NetGalley for the chance to review this book.
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This was a cute middle grade book!  The mystery and ghost aspect are very age appropriate.  If you are a fan of ghost stories you will definitely enjoy this book.
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The ghost appeared in April and was waiting for someone,a child. Meg and will were companions and less than year apart.most people thought the siblings were white but they were mixed.Ariel was 5 years old and on the train ride with Will and meg to Aunt effies house and castle cary.The siblings usually take care of Ariel.Aunt Effie lives in England.Thd kids had never heard of uncle ben until now and he would be there with them.Uncle Ben turns out to be a huge dog The ghost wants to play but the children and dog are also around.
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Three siblings + countryside + ghosts + Newfie = FANTASTIC GHOSTLY ADVENTURE! Meg, Will, and Ariel are visiting their Aunt and never heard of before "Uncle" and end up in an adventure of a lifetime. The three kids are very likable and enthralling. Shumaker's story has an old school Disney feel to it (Candleshoe, The Watcher in the Woods, and Blackbeard's Ghost, for example) but with a modern twist. Fans of ghost stories will love this book.

Thank you NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to read an advance reader copy.
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Middle grade readers will delight in the spooky adventures of the Griffin family as they navigate their way around Castle Cary in Somerset England.

Siblings Meg, Wil, and Ariel are delighted to discover there are ghosts (!) around when they stay with their Aunt in her authentically thatched and ancient cottage while their parents are off doing their geology thing. What starts off as a pleasant, low-key paranormal mystery quickly gains an edge when the resident ghosts take a very strong interest in Ariel. While Meg worries she's too old to see ghosts, and Wil discovers that he hiccups whenever a ghost is near, Ariel finds herself in real danger of possession. Find out how the siblings work together to save Ariel and put the ghosts to rest.

While there is a certain breeziness to the writing, fans of hardcore ghost stories will not be disappointed and will definitely feel the shivers as they read through this story. Recommended!
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SIblings Meg, Will, and Ariel couldn’t have known that visiting their aunt in England would put them on a ghost hunting adventure. (I did not realize this was a ghost story until a few chapters in. If you like ghost stories, you’ll want to read this book!) While Meg and Will look for information on a famous mother ghost who is searching eternally for her missing child. They’ll find her but the bigger problem is with their sister. Because unfortunately, their little sister, Ariel, becomes enraptured with a real ghost child who has nefarious purposes. Well-written, action-packed, and spooky!
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This book was received as an ARC from Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. 

This book was the ultimate sibling kid adventure ever written. I am immediately intrigued personally because of the main characters is named Meg and anyone that shares my first name is bound to have a significant role in the story so I appreciated that immensely. As far as interest in the story, at parts there were times where the plot felt like it was jumping all over the place making it hard to follow but as the story went on, it had more of a focus and got more and more enticing towards the end. Once the book was finished, I felt like I just watched an adventure Disney movie and wanted to know if there are many adventures.

We will consider adding this title to our JFiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
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