by Matthew Wilcox at the Wilcox Foxtrot
It’s pretty standard stuff, but Bellairs’s calm tone throughout makes the work feel that much creepier and eerier. There are car chases and magic fights and witches and cemetery visits and the raising of the dead, all dashed with a funny bone with a penchant for chocolate chip cookies, but none of it feels like it’s overtaking the other. In the end, the dire situation seems to be relegated to this single house, and I didn’t feel like the whole world was in danger — only Lewis. Which in the grand scheme of things is exactly what probably works better anyway.
Gorey’s illustrations aren’t as macabre as some of his other work, but they wonderful set the mood; it’s always a little treat when you turn the page get a picture.