This is a book I've had on my bookshelf for a couple years now with no idea on how it got there. As I was looking for books to read for my blog, though, I came across this one and decided to read it since this is the month that all things ghostly and ghoulish come about.
The story is about a boy named Jack who has recently lost his father to a heart attack. His mother, Sarah, thinking that a change of scenery would be good for him, moves him into a 100-year old farmhouse out in the country. Sarah knows this will please Jack since Jack has been experiencing otherworldly phenomenon since his father's passing. In the farmhouse, though, Jack feels his psychic abilities more strongly than he did at their old house.
Eventually, Jack finds out about Ann, Oliver, Charlie and Gwyneth - four child ghosts the Ghost Mother has captured and is slowly sucking their souls from them to maintain her strength and to prolong her fated appointment with the Nightmare Passage. You learn more about the Ghost Mother, but the story doesn't really delve into the previous lives of the four ghost children, which was somewhat disappointing to me.
The Nightmare Passage is a place ghosts go to if they do not go with their loved ones to the Other Side the moment after their death. The Nightmare Passage is a cold, dark place with ice for floors, no place to hide from the cold or the wind and no end in sight. It is the perpetual torment that causes one to think of Hell.
This is a definitely a ghost story, but not really a scary one. It definitely leans more towards the YA genre. It is well written, an easy read and probably something I'd read again around this same time next year. Once I started it, I did not want to put it down.
Happy Reading! =)