The Red House (The Haunting of Derek Stone, Book 3)
by Tony Abbott
Cover Artist: Alex Eckman-Lawn
Review by Gayle Surrette
Scholastic Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780545034319
Date: 01 June 2009 List Price $4.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Picking up where we left off in Bayou Dogs, Derek Stone isn't finding his life getting any easier. His brother is falling apart, literally since he's a zombie sharing the consciousness of another soul. The legion is out to stop him and they're gaining strength. What can Derek, his dead brother, and Abby Donner (another survivor of the train wreck) do to stop the end of life as we know it?
Derek is over-weight, fourteen, smarter than average, and he doesn't believe in magic or any of that wishy-washy kind of stuff. Too bad. Because his brother is now a zombie of sorts and Derek is supposed to save the world. He has no one to turn to except his brother who is starting to fall apart and who smells awful and Abby Donner, a girl who also survived the train crash and who has information he needs. Together they have to find a red house that figures prominently in his dreams and find out where it is and what he needs to learn there.
As with the other books in this series the action is non-stop. Derek barely has time to draw breath before the legion finds him. This book is no different, once we get the quick overview at the beginning to bring us back up to speed, we're off and there's no places to pause and think. Much like Derek, the reader must keep up and there's no time to second guess him or his decisions.
Adding Abby to the mix, brings in a whole new element. Previously, Abby did research and sent him information, but now she's traveling with Derek and his brother and she must keep her wits about her, because there's a few things Derek didn't tell her, hoping to spare her the pain of knowing. But luckily, Abby is stronger than she appears. She's an interesting addition to the group and changes the dynamics just a bit for the better as his brother decays.
Once more Derek is only a step ahead of the Legion and he still doesn't have all the information he needs to seal the breach between the living world and the underworld. It must be done and they have to find the rest of the clues or the world as we know it will end. Pressure? Sure, but we can only hope that Derek is strong enough to keep going. Hopefully, The Ghost Road will answer all our questions and see our heroes triumph over these uneven odds -- but then maybe not; maybe he'll only gain another piece of the picture.