Friday, December 29, 2017
THE DARK SECRET OF WEATHEREND by John Bellairs
The two are whiling away a summer afternoon by driving through the Wisconsin countryside, when Miss Eells has the inspiration to explore the abandoned Weatherend estate, once home to industrialist J. K. Borkman. In a shed they find some bizarre statues that refer to weather phenomena, and then realize the estate is now inhabited and are chased away by a dog....but not before discovering, and taking, a book they find under the floorboards in the shed.
They soon meet the Borkman heir who's moved in, Anders, and it's clear he has supernatural powers, as he wants the book and exercises some sort of mind control over the two to get it back. Not only that, but all sorts of bizarre weather patterns are holding over Hoosac, WI, leading to speculation that world could end. It's up to Anthony, Myra, and her brother Emerson to figure out a solution and save the world.
I have no idea of Bellairs wanted to start a new series with 1978's The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn but it took him six years to revisit his characters. This is an entertaining adventure but sometimes is a bit lacking; there are plot holes unfilled, such as the nature of the villain and his motivations, and information filled in afterward that nobody could actually know. But the notion of a sorcerer who wants to wipe out civilization with monster storms, and some of the bizarre clues and traps involved, are good, if the execution is sometimes lacking. Overall, enjoyable but flawed.
More Bellairs on the way!