Review: Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Jamie @ Fic Fare via LBBA Program
Series: N/A
Genre(s): Horror, Mystery, Paranormal
Synopsis from Goodreads:

A pacy, chilling ghost story from the creator of the internationally acclaimed Moorehawke Trilogy.
I think the fire changed us – me and Dom. I think that’s how the boy was able to see us. Though he’d been there for every summer of our childhood, we’d only been stupid boys until then. Stupid, happy, ignorant boys. And what in hell would he have had in common with two stupid boys? But after the fire we were different. We were maybe a little bit like him. And so he saw us, at last, and he thought he’d found a home…

Special thanks to Jamie @ Fic Fare and the Little Blogger Big Ambitions program for providing me with an advance copy of this book for review!

The only words I can think to describe Into the Grey are strange and odd, which at first I was unsure as to whether that was a good or a bad thing. I like weird, eerie, and unique books, but Into the Grey was a little too far-fetched and different for my liking.

The idea for this book was so intriguing, but unfortunately instead of being the “heart-pounding, atmospheric ghost story,” or a “taut psychological thriller,” that the book description on the ARC says it is, I found it was quite the opposite. I was really bored, throughout the entire book, not just certain parts. I lost pretty much complete interest when I hit the 3/4 mark. I found myself skimming longer passages to dialogue.

Not only was the pacing slow and completely unexciting, I thought the characters were extremely immature for their age. The two boys, Pat and Dom are 15 going on 16, but still play games that involve “swordfighting” with found sticks against each other and making false gunshot noises in “war games.” Sorry, but no matter how immature the boys at my school are, they don’t do that. At least I’m not aware that they do. So I think 11 or 12 would have been a more suitable age for the boys, but that was one small probably that really got to me for some reason.

One thing that I did enjoy was the relationship between Francis and Pat. I liked how the two of them came to the realization that they were in similar situations and should work together to get their brothers back. There were also flashback scenes to the set of characters from Francis’ lifetime, which I liked. It made the story come full circle when some information was revealed toward the end of the book.

But overall, the bad outweighed the good in my opinion. Into the Grey had the potential to be what the description describes it as, a fast paced and exciting ghost story that chills readers. Unfortunately, the execution of the story and the fact that it was written in a boring manner left me very disappointed. Into the Grey disappointed me, and for that reason I’d pass on it.

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8 thoughts on “Review: Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan

  1. Ghost stories are really hit or miss for me. And I don’t mind all slow-paced novels, but the writing has to be amazing and I have to get the sense that something fantastic is being set up. Plus, I agree with you — by 15-16 most boys I know moved on from play swordfighting to video games. Love the cover of this one, though.
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

  2. This book’s description sounded so good too! Thanks for the warning about the pacing. I agree, boys don’t generally sword fight or make war noises at 15-16, more like 8 or 9 even.

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