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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Midnight Gate

I was given Helen Stringer’s The Midnight Gate as a preview book. I was disappointed that it was the second book of a series and I had not read the first book, Spellbinder. I would definitely recommend reading Spellbinder first. I know it would have helped me better understand why the main characters were in their current situation. The main character, Belladonna, is bullied by a mean girl named Sophie. While on a school trip Belladonna and her friend, Steve, are given a map and clues by a ghost at a monastery. Sophie, seeking revenge when Belladonna fights back, reports her to Child Protective Services. Belladonna, able to see ghosts, is secretly living with her dead parents. When CPS comes to investigate, they find that she is living alone when she should be living with her grandmother. Because her grandmother is missing, she is sent to live with foster parents who live in Shady Gardens, a building that had supposedly been demolished a few years ago. Dark shadows lurk around Shady Gardens. It is up to Belladonna and Steve to solve the riddle on the map and find the Queen of the Abyss before the Dark Spaces are able to enter the human realm. This has enough action and imagination to appeal to all fantasy lovers. The ending leaves us eagerly awaiting the next book.

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