This dark, somewhat chilling story depicts what happens when a story (or collection of stories) comes to life.
Oli is a twelve year old boy who is suddenly uprooted and moved to the country (a tiny, middle of nowhere kind of place), away from his home in London, and away from his father. His mother takes him and moves into Oli’s uncle and aunt’s home, but no one really tells him why. His mother informs him that they are on a vacation and his father will be joining him when he finishes up some important things in the office (although we aren’t really ever told exactly what his father does, we can gather later in the book that he is some type of politician in London – a very important one). While Oli begins making some friends in the town, something strange is happening in the house, and Oli is determined to try and figure it out.
The entire strange feeling begins with the attic in the house that Oli and his mother have moved into. Oli is attracted to the house, and he starts spending time up there, only to come across Eren.
Eren is a strange creature. He has long nail-like claws, wings, and he lives on stories. Yes, stories. He likes fairy tales, fables, urban legends – anything. He just needs stories to survive. So when Oli comes along, you can imagine how thrilled he is to have a new source of stories – stories that Oli is willing to tell. As Oli learns more about the neighborhood (including stories from a huge book from the town’s historical society), he keeps bringing home more stories to tell Eren. He begins spending more and more time in the attic with Eren, telling him stories and having conversations with him.
Eventually, Oli learns the truth about his father from his aunt. While his mother had tried to protect him, he eventually learns what is really going on, and it’s hard for him to face. Between this and dealing with Eren, Oli begins to think that maybe he should take Eren’s tempting offer of giving up the outside world and staying with Eren…forever lost in a world of stories.
I still have a hard time categorizing this book…it could fall into so many genres…is it meant to be middle grade or young adult? Is it a thriller? Is it fantasy? Honestly, even after reading it…I just don’t know. It reads like a middle grade novel, but there’s some dark stuff going on here that I can only imagine falling into the young adult genre. Eren himself is somewhat of a fantasy creature, but is he? The story is sort of suspenseful and thrilling…so I’m calling it a thriller. One of the things I enjoyed so much about this book is just how open it is. I feel like everyone who reads this might have a different opinion about what genres this book should be…and that makes it an interesting story.
I’m not going to lie…this book was so weird I honestly had to re-read several parts because I couldn’t get a good grip on what was going on. Also, it starts off kind of slow (and at the same time, it kind of made me think that this was going to be somewhat of a horror novel, but it didn’t really play out that way). It really picked up around the second half of the book, so I’m glad I stuck with it and was patient. It was a different, interesting novel (with one heck of an ending), with some flowing, descriptive writing that made the book pretty enjoyable overall.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.