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This issue’s cover illustration by Catherine Rayner is from Solomon Crocodile. Catherine Rayner is interviewed on p.14 of this issue. Thanks to Macmillan Children's Books for their help with this May cover.
By clicking here you can view, print or download the fully artworked Digital Edition of BfK 194 May 2012 .
Several months after a hit-and-run driver almost killed him, Elliott is still traumatised. He was a ‘bit of a lad’ before the accident, but his usual cocky confidence seems to have entirely deserted him. Everyone tells him this is normal. But the accident has left its mark in other, more sinister ways too. He regularly wakes up in the night, paralysed and terrified, while ghostly figures loom over him. According to Dad, he’s experiencing something called ‘sleep paralysis’, where the body is unable to move but the mind is caught between dreaming and consciousness. But that doesn’t explain the out-of-body experiences he’s also having, where he seems to watch himself in bed, asleep.
Elliott knows a woman committed suicide in the flat before his family moved in. And the night time visitations chime in an uncanny way with the details he has of her death.
He doesn’t believe in ghosts – not really. But he decides to test out whether the sleep paralysis/ghostly visitations happen in other supposedly ‘haunted’ places, in the hope of finding some answers. He takes a job at a nearby museum called Past Lives, which makes a tidy income from its regular ghost nights. There he meets the mysterious and frosty Ophelia, niece of the owner, and soon discovers that his visitations are definitely not just a quirk of his sleeping habits but supernatural in nature. There are dark secrets at Past Lives and when Elliott naps one day, he watches in horror as someone else – or something else – takes over his sleeping body.
Harrison deftly weaves together several storylines to make a very original and exciting story. It’s very hard to put down and the creepy atmosphere throughout makes for some genuine chills. This is a very worthy successor to Harrison’s popular ‘13 Treasures’ series.