Hi all have chosen Dreams or Demons by Eleanor Jones as our spooky Halloween read this year.
This was written by a Brit author but published in the USA. It's fairly easy to get hold of in the USA, quite a bit harder here in the UK (sorry not sure about Australia) but if you haven't got a copy already or can't get one I can lend someone mine after I've read it. There is also a digital copy available on the Internet Archive/Open library website (you can read it on-line or download an epub/pdf file if you have a suitable reader). You will need to register if you aren't a member but it's free. See link below:
This one is my favorite Eleanor Jones! I just really love the setup of the two girls and the two horses. Yes, we've had groups of friends in books many times, and pairs of friends, too, but this one just really catches my imagination with the complementary personalities of the girls and their mounts.
Be aware there are numerous copy errors in the book -- apparently the typesetter, or editor couldn't remember if the name is Whitway or Whitmore, or it was changed at some point, but inconsistently -- anyway, it keeps switching back and forth. And I think first names of the characters are reversed in one place, too, or something -- I can't think the author did that, just the typesetter, and no copy editor caught it (if there even was a copy editor). Also, "I've have" and "lead" where it should be "led" -- just was not very carefully produced. Lots of errors along those lines.
But I just love Cheerful and Aladdin! I wish there had been a backstory book about Laura and Aladdin, and then sequels afterwards, with the girls tackling some more supernatural powers.
Well as Rally has mentioned a little about the book I may as well add my views. There are no spoilers to the plot in this post.
Like Rally I also noticed a few glaring errors. In one part of the story Billy sets out riding a chestnut which turns into a piebald, then a black, then back into chestnut again. The worst errors are on pages 106-107 when Laura turns into Penny for one paragraph and then she somehow ends up owning and feeding Penny's dog Bounce! If anyone borrows my copy they will find my underlines and notes on these errors! It's a pity the book wasn't properly proof-read, no excuse really for such an established publisher.
I also agree that it would have been nice to have had more backstory on Laura's meeting and training of Aladdin (or a prequel as the books was probably too short to fit any more in) and a sequel would have been good too.
The book is good at building up a spooky atmosphere and there is a real sense of evil there, and a eerie twist at the end. I like the way the girls find out the history of Storm and Lady Anne Faversham. This section could have been fleshed out a little more but again the book was just to short to fit more in. I think the author did pretty well considering the constraint of word numbers she must have been limited to. Unlike quite a few of these Stabenfeldt books which were published in the USA but written by British authors and set in the UK, there mercifully weren't many Americanisms inserted into this one, only Mom instead of Mum.
My main gripe is that it promotes the view that many people have of black cats being evil or unlucky and witch's 'familiars' - not saying this was on purpose, and I'm probably being oversensitive on the subject, but as a volunteer at various cat shelters over the years, I see at first hand the prejudice against black cats, and am annoyed it is reflected in a book for children.
All in all though, a good spooky read for Halloween season.
Claire in many countries such as the USA black cats are considered unlucky. In the UK black cats are considered lucky. It may be reflecting the country it's set in. I am not trying to defend the book just pointing it out.
Hi garej yes it is more of a USA thing for black cats to be considered unlucky, but even in the UK the black cats are usually the last to find homes for some reason and lots of people here also consider cats as, if not evil, cruel and unpleasant creatures. I'm probaby being too over-sensitive on this issue, but it's a bugbear of mine!
I also enjoyed this book. Quite a spooky, scary atmosphere, a great read for Halloween time. The only critcisms were the same as other people have picked up on, the editing errors and an extra few pages or so of fleshing out of the story would have made it even better. I feel like I want to read more of the author's books now.
Last Edit: Nov 2, 2019 20:02:51 GMT 1 by darkhorse
I'm still kind of saving it because I know once I start it will read very fast. For me, there's something special about this one -- agree with all the mentions of the great atmosphere, and again I like the two girls' personalities and those of the horses. And of course we have the
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