You Can't Hide (Shadow House, Book 2)
When we last left Poppy, Marcus, Azumi, Dash and Dylan, they were trapped in an elevator, pursued by the mask-wearing ghost children The Specials, each of our heroes hoping beyond hope that they could somehow escape Larkspur Manor --- better known as Shadow House. Readers should understand, however, that there is no escaping the house: once you cross the front garden’s threshold it’s a matter of when, not if, Shadow House claims you. And the greatest terrors come only after the house has consumed you, as we’ll come to learn. In Shadow House, you can run, but YOU CAN’T HIDE.
"This second volume in the Shadow House series shows that author Dan Poblocki has built a truly terrifying haunted house, and the ghoulish conclusion is right around the corner."
At the close of the previous book, THE GATHERING, we learned that Dash’s prank on the set of “Dad’s So Clueless” cost Dylan his life, and that Dylan is, in fact, himself a ghost. When this is revealed, a flood of memories returns to the twins. They recall just how the prank went wrong, how the show was cancelled because of Dylan’s death, and that Dash may be at Shadow House as an escaped mental patient (committed for talking with his recently deceased brother, whom no one else could see). Dylan is having a particularly hard time, as one might expect, accepting his existence as a ghost. Dylan begins to wonder whether that’s even the truth, whether he’s actually dead, and if Shadow House isn’t some long, strange dream he’s been having after one too many long nights on set.
This confusion is cleared up for Dylan by the sudden appearance of long-absent director Del Larkspur, who informs the young star that he is, indeed, shooting a movie. A movie called The Gathering, where Dylan is playing the big, bad villain, The Trickster. It is then that Del presents Dylan with The Trickster’s costume: a papier mâché clown mask. Del is a very exacting director, who knows precisely what he wants out of his stars, so he encourages Dylan not to worry about getting rough with the other actors, especially his brother.
The rest of our heroes are out looking for Dylan, as well as for a safe passage out of Shadow House. Each hallway they walk down seems oddly familiar, as the mansion twists and rearranges itself to confuse them, and the four youngsters are eventually separated by a terrifying run-in with The Foxes, a well-to-do couple who are dead set on adopting the children. From there they encounter some of the house’s other horrors: carnivorous floral wallpaper, disappearing doorways, an overgrown conservatory that’s home to a few shambling, hungry ghouls and an Azumi doppelganger with short hair --- or is that one the real Azumi?
YOU CAN’T HIDE also fleshes out a good deal of Shadow House’s history, from its beginnings as a private residence through its time as an orphanage and all of the lethal house fires in between. Not everything is revealed, though, and some of the stories can only be accessed through the Shadow House Companion App, which works in a choose your own adventure format, and the smaller stories dovetail with events in the main narrative. There you can learn more about the mysterious Cyrus Caldwell, founder of the orphanage, the various orphans who lived there, along with some of the other unfortunate adults who were called to Shadow House.
By the time the end of YOU CAN’T HIDE arrives our heroes will have come face to face with Cyrus Caldwell, uncovered a traitor in their midst, dealt with a new clown-mask-wearing Special, and glimpsed the true evil which resides at the core of Shadow House. And be warned: one of our heroes will not survive YOU CAN’T HIDE.
This second volume in the Shadow House series shows that author Dan Poblocki has built a truly terrifying haunted house, and the ghoulish conclusion is right around the corner.
Reviewed by Killian Walsh on January 5, 2017