Every now and then you come across a book that is so unique, so different, so incredible that you just want to share it with everyone you know. This is one of those books. I read it three times in a week, and still want to go back over it again, in case I missed anything. What makes this book so incredible is that it is actually more than a book; it is a new entertainment experience. It is a book, it is a movie and it is fantastic. The story is told in two parts.
It is the story of Ryan and Sarah, who live in Skeleton Creek Oregon. They become fascinated with the town's name, and the fact that it only changed to that recently. While investigating the mystery of the name, they find out about a ghost story of a man named Joe Bush who died in a mining dredge outside of town. While investigating the dredge, something strange happens and Ryan falls and breaks his leg. That is where our story begins. Ryan is in the hospital recovering and he starts to tell the story in his journal so he can make sense of it, and in case something happens to him. But the story is told by both Ryan and Sarah. Currently their parents will not allow them to see each other because they believe that it will encourage their investigative efforts.
Yet the two are staying in contact over the web. Ryan is writing the story in his journal, which is our book, and Sarah is creating videos and posting them on her website www.sarahfincher.com. Combined they tell the story. It is a great new media/literary adventure. Even the packaging and presentation is new. The book comes in a sleeve like a cover on a new DVD that says: "Read the book … Watch the videos." Once you slide the book out, it looks like a hard cover journal, and it looks like it was hand-written. The journal has illustrations and, what appears to be items taped inside it.
This story is incredibly well done. It is a ghost story for the net generation. You have to read the book and watch the videos and follow groups and websites online to find out more details and background to the story. It is well-written and the videos are amazing. I did read the book the first time to see if it could stand alone without the web component and it does, but the videos take the book to a whole new level of reading entertainment. Some of the websites that you can check out are:
The only bad thing I can say about it is that it ends with a cliff-hanger and the conclusion, Ghost in the Machine - Skeleton Creek Book 2, is not due out until September 2009. This book has made my top ten all-time fiction list. It is a ghost story extraordinaire. So as the cover says, read the book and watch the videos - you will be drawn in and amazed by the story!
(First published in Imprint 2009-01-09.)
Other of Patrick Carman Books:
The Dark Hills Divide - The Land of Elyon Book 1
Beyond the Valley of Thorns - The Land of Elyon Book 2
The Tenth City - The Land of Elyon Book 3
Into The Mist - The Land of Elyon Prequel
Stargazer - The Land of Elyon Book 4
The House of Power - Atherton Book 1
Rivers of Fire - Atherton, Book 2
The Dark Planet - Atherron Book 3
Saving Mr Nibbles - Elliot's Park Book 1
Haunted Hike - Elliot's Park Book 2
The Walnut Cup - Elliot's Park Book 3
A Windy Tale - Elliot's Park Book 4
Skeleton Creek - Skeleton Creek Book 1 - A Prereview.
Ghost in the Machine - Skeleton Creek Book 2
Crossbones - Skeleton Creek Book 3
The Raven - Skeleton Creek Book 4
The Black Circle - 39 Clues Book 5
Thirteen Days to Midnight