Perusing the teen book cart I discovered a slim new series of horror novels that immediately piqued my interest. Look at that open casket on the cover! What ghoulish reader could pass up such a cover image?
So, we have The Protectors (which I read), Skin, and Thaw, three books making up the start of a horror series called Night Fall. Since I haven't read the other three, I don't know if characters overlap but it appears that the volumes can be read in any order. Each book is about 100 pages, the action moves fast, and the plot premises are sufficiently creepy. Because things happen at a fast clip, characters aren't as developed as they could be, but the author of Protectors did a pretty decent job focusing on the narrator, a teenage boy who lives in a funeral home and whose mother has told him the dead watch over and protect the last person to care for their bodies. The language is fairly straightforward, the dialogue to the point. These are good choices for people who need to read a book in a hurry (last minute book report) or don't want to commit themselves to a lengthy tome like The Ruins by Scott Smith (excellent and nothing like the crummy movie based on the novel--published for adults). I'm the kind of reader who likes the long tomes so I found myself slightly frustrated by the briskness of this novel, but it sufficed for a quick horror fix. The ending (to me) was a bit obvious, but some readers won't be bothered by that. I will have to try the other two books in the series to see how they fit into the scheme of things.