Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Majanka Verstraete's Weirdville Series

Majanka Verstraete's The Weirdville Series
The Doll Maker
The House of Horrors
Fright Train  

Welcome to Weirdville, the scariest town on earth. Something ancient and evil is lurking in the shadows of this quaint, little town, and every now and then it comes out to play…

Weirdville is a series of stand-alone horror books for kids. The books will be published by Evolved Publishing. These are lower grade chapter books. All books can be read as stand alone books, but they all take place in the same town.

Majanka Verstraete begged her Mom to teach her how to read while she was still in kindergarten. By the time she finished fifth grade, she had read through the entire children’s section of her hometown library. 
She wrote her first story when she was seven years old, and hasn’t stopped writing since. With an imagination that never sleeps, and hundreds of possible book characters screaming for her attention, writing is more than a passion for her.
She writes about all things supernatural for children of all ages. She’s tried to write contemporary novels before, but something paranormal always manages to crawl in. 

Majanka is currently studying for her Master of Law degree, and hopes one day to be able to combine her passions for law and writing. When she's not writing, reading or studying, she likes to watching The Vampire Diaries and Game of Thrones, spending time with her friends, or playing World of Warcraft.
The Doll Maker (Weirdville #1)
Derek’s little sister wants one of those creepy-looking dolls, staring at him from the strange new doll shop in town, and what his sister wants, she gets. Now they’re stuck with a doll that looks so human, it gives Derek the creeps.
When Derek tells his friends, Martin and Jamie, about the new shop with creepy human-like dolls, they want to see for themselves. That has “bad idea” written all over it, but he takes his friends there anyway.

They meet the mysterious doll maker, who reminds Derek of Dr. Frankenstein, and who brainwashes Martin into buying one of those scary dolls. Derek and Jamie push and pull Martin out of the shop, but something isn’t right with their friend. He’s shivering all over, and he has no memory of what happened in the shop.
Martin’s condition worsens every day, and Derek’s sister grows more and more obsessed with her new doll. Derek and Jamie have to find out what’s going on, and fast, because….

…the doll maker seems linked to a bunch of mysterious disappearances, and the last thing Derek wants is his sister, or his friend, being next on the doll maker’s list.

Click here to read our review of The Doll Maker

House of Horrors (Weirdville #2) 

When her parents allow her to go to the fair, Jacky is over the moon. The fair is most famous for its haunted mansion, the House of Horrors, and her friend Ben can’t wait to try it out. Her best friend, Cass, is a little more reluctant, but then again, Cass has always been a chicken when it comes to getting scared.

Jacky and Cass are determined to act tough, so when Ben suggests they try out the House of Horrors, the girls tag along, even though the place gives them the chills.

As soon as the three of them enter the spooky monstrosity, the ride comes to a screeching halt, and the horror begins.
The lights fade, and a hooded figure appears and tells them they’re stuck in a twisted game of cat and mouse. He will show them their worst fears, and if the kids manage to face down those fears, they’ll have a chance of getting out of the House of Horrors alive. If they don’t, well….

Thirty minutes to go. Thirty minutes to face their nightmares… and the clock is ticking.

Character Interview with Jacky, the main character in House of Horrors

Can you tell us about yourself?

My name is Jacky, and I am ten years old. I like to hangout with my friends, and I am quite the daredevil. I live in a small town called Weirdville, where for some reason, weird things happen all the time.

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

I usually hangout with my best friends, Cass and Ben. Although lately, my parents have been tagging along wherever we go, because sometime ago, kids my age disappeared in town. The kids have been found though, but my parents refuse to let me out of their sight! I do hope they let me go to the carnival in town this weekend. 

Who is your best friend, and why? 

That's a tough one! I have two best friends - Cass and Ben. Cass is like a quieter version of myself. She is thoughtful and considerate. Not very brave, but very cleaver though. 

Ben acts all tough, and he's always up for doing dangerous things, like climbing trees or mountain biking.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? 

I would like to change my attitude, so I don't care that much about my parents not noticing me every now and then. They're both so wrapped up in their own world, sometimes it feels like I don't even exist. 

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

That's a tough question. I wish we could all get over our fears somehow, and just enjoy life.

Do you have a love interest? 

I'm a little too young for love interest, I think. Never even thought about it. Ben is cute ...

Fright Train (Weirdville #3)                                                           Charlie’s parents drop him off at the train station so he can visit his grandma in Weirdville. It’s a cold winter evening, so when his usual train is cancelled at the last second, Charlie wishes he’d stayed home. 
An hour later, shivering from the cold, he climbs onboard the next train to Weirdville, even though he’d rather not. It looks like something straight out of the nineteenth century, as if it used a time machine to arrive at the station.
His shivering doesn’t stop, for soon after Charlie boards, he realizes just how right he was to be wary of this strange train. Something is seriously wrong with all the people onboard. If only he could figure out what was going on. If only he could get off the train.

 Majanka does a wonderful job of bringing the spooky to the kids, but not to the point that they will have nightmares. I have to say being a "horror junkie" that even as an adult I've enjoyed The Weirdville series.

House of Horrors is by far my favorite in the series thus far. I'm certainly excited to see what happens in Weirdville next.