Cover Image: The Shadows of Rookhaven

The Shadows of Rookhaven

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Member Reviews

I am a big fan of Kenny's writing, and loved The Monsters of Rookhaven, so was excited to find he had written a sequel.  In this story, various members of the extended Family are meeting at Rookhaven for the Great Configuration, a once in a century event.  But one of the new arrivals has a hidden agenda, one that could harm Mirabelle and her relatives.  Once again, Kenny has written a wonderful story, full of emotion and often heart-wrenching.  These so-called 'monsters' are not monstrous at all.  In fact it is often the humans who behave in a monstrous way.  The book is beautifully illustrated by Edward Bettison, and told with such warmth I cannot recommend it highly enough.  I hope there will be more.
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It's official. I absolutely adore this series!

After loving the Monsters of Rookhaven earlier this year I was eager to get my hands on this second instalment, and it did not disappoint. This is a wonderful addition to the series and a brilliant follow up to the first story.

Here we find the return of our favourite characters; Mirabelle, Odd, Piglet... and face a new terror, and I absolutely devoured it. I love Padraig Kenny's writing, the characters he has created are such endearing, complex, complicated souls and I just adore them all.

This is a wonderfully gothic and emotional adventure and I will happily, and eagerly, read whatever Padraig writes next.

Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan for the arc copy in exchange for an honest review.

5 perfect stars
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A fantastic follow up to The Monsters of Rookhaven.
An enchanting catch up with Miribelle, Odd and Piglet. Padraig Kenny has given us another fantastic story with the family at Rookhaven.
Gorgeous illustrations as well, thank you NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this story.
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There were many things i liked about this book but it was just missing a little something for me. The characters and the plot were interesting but i really struggled to pay attention to everything happening in it at times. I did like the writing style and would pick up another by this author, just not one in this series.
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The Shadows of Rookhaven returns to the sanctuary of Rookhaven years after the events that took place in The Monsters of Rookhaven.  The Rookhaven Family of diverse monsters are hosting The Great Configuration, which is held every 100 years, and Family from other sanctuaries are gathering there, many being brought through portals created by Odd.  
A young boy, Billy Catchpole, arrives at Rookhaven, and is invited in by Mirabelle; however, he may not be there solely to celebrate the Great Configuration, and may well be intending harm on a member of the Family …
This is an absolutely stunning story told from different viewpoints in short atmospheric chapters:  tantalising and intriguing; heart-warming and heart-breaking; a story that oscillates with secrets and revelations, and a delicious darkness and tension that makes it an excruciating delight to read.  
Each of the characters is brilliantly portrayed, struggling with choices and emotions and hidden depths that become clear as the story unfolds.  They struggle with some of the biggest questions:  what lengths will we go to in order to save those we love?  What happens when we cannot accept the inevitably of death?  How can we forgive those who have betrayed us?  
I really enjoyed the relationship that develops between Mirabelle and Billy as they share a connection that leads to a slow building of friendship. Mirabelle is courageous, empathetic and kind and recognises pain, grief and anger in others whilst feeling these emotions herself.  Both are Misbegotten, half-monster and half-human, and face the prejudice of others for being different. 
I also really loved finding out more about Piglet, one of the most fascinating characters in middle-grade fiction.  He is an ancient, feared, shape-shifting entity who is endlessly curious about others and can enter their minds with ease to experience their emotions and experiences.  
The black and white illustrations by Edward Bettison are stunning and cover both partial and full-page spreads. I love that the people portrayed are in shadow throughout, complementing the story perfectly.
I cannot recommend this dark, powerful, thought-provoking masterpiece enough:  utterly brilliant!
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I loved 'The Monsters of Rookhaven,' so I could not wait to get started on this title. It did not disappoint and is a wonderful follow up the the first title in the series. The illustrations are marvellous and even inspired a little curiosity in my teenager! I found myself talking about them and flicking back to admire the detail in them. I have only read the novel on a device, but would image they are even better in their full printed glory. My only criticism is that the black pages, revealing Piglet's voice, were very hard to read: the contrast and font really made my eyes ache!

Onto the story: it was fantastic to meet Mirabelle and her quirky family again. These characters are the modern day Addams Family. I was thrilled to actually really see Piglet and felt that so much more was revealed about Piglet's character and 'skills' in this title. The tension and suspense that Kenny develops is fabulous - those short chapters and quick changing viewpoints really enticed me to hold on. The start is incredibly pacey, with twists and turns and mystery prevailing..The highlight was the train station and the writing around that journey... read it and weep at the metre Kenny holds throughout the chapter. 

There are many sad moments and poignant comments made in this book. As readers we learn a lot about outsiders, being different, what is 'our kind' and where does family truly begin? Many of the bad characters have backstories which somehow neutralises their desperation. This really is a book for today with so many aptly drawn situations that are cloaked by a gothic theme which softens the reality of existing in a world when you are different. So many wonderful opportunities for discussions with children. 

I would say this is suitable for children aged 10 and above, but does contain some violence and gory scenes, so they need to be fairly mature.
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It was wonderful to be back in Rookhaven. I loved the first book, The Monsters of Rookhaven. This author writes such emotional books that drawn me in, which is difficult to do. The opening was so nasty and gripping, really superb writing. Although the story was less surprising than the first book, it was a joy to read. This world is compelling and shines a light on the current problems in our society where hatred divides us. Really good read.
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The Shadows of Rookhaven is the brilliant sequel to The Monsters of Rookhaven, a cheeky middle grade about friendship, monsters, and not judging a book by it's cover. Both books are filled with spooky whimsy, genuine tension and classic Gothic tropes. As well as a few nods to some horror-fan-favourites. It reads like a traditional fairytale, and has the potential to break your heart. It's magical and magnificent.
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This sequel has surpassed the excellence of the first book. 
The characters grow and change, but somehow their essence remains. 
I loved Piglet in thenfirstthe first book and that has only grown. My heart missed a beat a couple of times in this story, because I was so taken in and involved with the Family.
The illustrations add a gothic beauty to the story.
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Definitely a winning story from Pádraig Kenny, this is the sequel to The Monsters of Rookhaven (which I have not yet read, but will be reading on the strength of this book. 
Mirabelle befriends Billy Catchpole who arrived unannounced at Rookhaven to for the Great Configuration, an event which occurs only once every hundred years, but Billy has a secret mission which will cause disaster and despair to many of The Family at Rookhaven. 
With shapeshifting, travel portals and discussions about the nature of The Family, who is accepted, and who is not, this is a gripping gothic MG story which is to be released well in time for spooky Halloween reading! 
A brilliant story which I will be recommending to pupils and teachers alike. 

Thanks to #NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ahead of publication in exchange for an honest review
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I think I have found a new series I love! After reading the first one, I really loved the atmosphere of the stories and the characters. This one is no different. We see the main character, Mirabella meet a boy called Billy who has been tasked to do something awful to the family in order to save her sister Meg. But when he arrives at the house or Rookhaven and meets the ever lovely Mirabella. Although this story doesn’t include Jem, there are more than enough lovely characters to meet on this adventure. 

This story Mirabella learns more about who she is as she has to save all that is dear to her. I love that we hear so much more from Piglet in this story, he is definitely a favourite of mine. I love how the different view points are laid out on the page and the beautiful illustrations. The perfect spooky, not so spooky book with endearing characters and an engaging story line. I hope we can hear more about the Family at Rookhaven!
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This book begins with Billy Catchpole, an outcast who falls into the clutches of the mysterious Mr Courtney and forced to work for him.  Mirabelle and her family are preparing for the Great Configuration, an event which happens every 100 years.  Friends and family are arriving all the time and Billy is assumed to be another guest.  
When the time for the Configuration comes, Billy puts Courtney’s plan into action.  Mirabelle is upset over losing Billy and his actions and chases after him.  Will Billy and Mirabelle be able to stop Courtney in his tracks, or will he succeed in his wicked plan?

Mirabelle is still confident and warm-hearted but has to contend with the attitudes of some family members over her half human qualities.  She will need to work hard to right Billy's wrongs.  Billy lacks confidence and self esteem, allowing him to be easily led by Courtney.  Billy and Mirabelle work well together and we can see the story from both their perspectives, allowing the story to move seamlessly.

I loved Monsters of Rookhaven and now love Shadows.  I can only hope for more to come!
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Creepy and atmospheric, a sequel to Monsters of Rookhaven.

I hadn't realised until about a quarter of the way through this that this was a sequel.  

The story itself gave no indication until previous events were referred to quite a way in.  It might be, though, that this is the reason I found it pretty slow going: readers familiar to the world, the characters, or type of characters, might have found more references to get them into the story quicker, but without having read the first instalment, it's difficult to tell.  For that reason, I wouldn't recommend reading this without having read the first book.

I think it is well-written, and I was definitely creeped out by some of the ghoulish characters, so I would recommend the series to fans of monster stories and creepy houses, with a with a dash of ghoulish magic or powers.  I personally found the second book, as a standalone, difficult to get into, so haven't yet finished it, but may revise this review on reading the whole book, or if I ever read the first one, but at this point, I'm not really in a hurry to.
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Sadly, I was unfortunately unable to access this title on my kindle.
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At Christmas I was bought a signed copy of The Monsters of Rookhaven which I adored so being allowed access to an early copy of The Shadows of Rookhaven has been a real honour.

At the beginning of the book, the family are gathering for The Great Configuration which happens every 100 years; however, one of the guests isn't actually part of the family but, instead, is there with a specific job to do in order to save his own family.  When Mirabelle discovers the truth about Billy, things take a very different turn.

It was wonderful to be back in Rookhaven and to become reacquainted with Mirabelle and her rather unusual family.  We really get to see Mirabelle's strength of character in this book and I will always have so much love for Piglet who we see more of in this book; I was pleased to see that there were, once again, chapters written from his point of view - I love the different perspective the character provides.

The writing is deliciously dark and sinister with a good dollop of action and suspense thrown in to keep you gripped (I experienced a full range of emotions whilst reading this, including tears whilst on a train up to Edinburgh!).  The Shadows of Rookhaven is a truly wonderful read and I already find myself longing to be back there again!
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The sequel to one of the most striking children's books of recent years continues in the same vein. Picking up several years after the Monsters of Rookhaven, we are back in the sanctuary for weird people living an uneasy truce with their neighbouring humans. An event called the Great Configuration brings members of the wider monstering community to Rookhaven, and with it fresh antagonism for the (sort of) protagonist Mirabelle, who we learn is 'Misbegottoen' (half human-half monster). Also on the scene is an uninvited guest called Billy, another misbegotten, who has been sent on a mission to steal something of great power as his sister is held captive. Mirabelle, who is feeling lonely having lost contact with her friends from the previous book, takes him under her wing only to be betrayed, which leads her out into the real world for a dangerous adventure that reveals more of her hidden past.

There is much in this book that will be familiar, particularly to readers of Harry Potter. Unfortunately the world of Rookhaven isn't quite as well defined as Hogwarts, and I found myself willing for the action to escape its slightly cloying surroundings much sooner than it did. Kenny introduces some great new characters, including the morally compromised Billy and a fine new antagonist with a secret. But the books suffers from an extraneous subplot and many of the secondary characters remain as undeveloped as they were in book one. I found myself occasionally checking the excellently illustrated endpapers to remind who was who. When the book really gets going in the second half, it's hard to put down, but I almost didn't get there.
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So after reading the first book which was amazing, I was very excited to read this and it didn’t disappoint. I loved everything about it the location, the characters, the descriptions, the illustrations. This is an amazing gothic story and would appeal to so many people especially those drawn to stories with an old gothic feeling to them. Mira belle and Billy are both great characters and are so believable. It was amazing to read and I would definitely read anything from this author again in the future. 
Amazing job!
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This book begins in London (or a version of it) just after the war when the city is recovering from the Blitz. Billy Catchpole is an outcast who falls into the clutches of the mysterious Mr Courtney and forced to carry out a task for him. The action then moves to Rookhaven where we meet Mirabelle again. She and all her family are preparing for the Great Configuration, an event which happens every 100 years. Guests are constantly arriving and when Billy turns up, it assumed that he is just another guest. However Billy betrays the trust that Mirabelle and her family place in him and escapes back to London with his prize. Mirabelle and her friends follow him to try and avoid disaster falling upon them and everyone else. 
This is a marvellously gothic story which will appeal to anyone who loves the Addams family. Mirabelle and Billy are both entirely believable characters and there are a whole host of other characters whose viewpoints add to the depth of the story. 
I have loved everything that I have read by Padraig Kenny and this is every bit as good as his previous books. 
Thank you to Net Galley and Macmillan Children’s books for letting me read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I didn't realise this was the second book in a series when I picked it up,  but in all honesty, I didn't feel like I'd missed out by not reading the first one. The characters all made sense to me, and really enjoyed it.
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I am ashamed to say this was the first Padraig Kenny book I have read but can also say with certainty that it won’t be my last. I was hooked right from the beginning as I was drawn in to the lives of the monsters in this story. I got a real sense of these characters through Kenny’s writing and I know their feelings during the story will ring true to both children and adults; you don’t have to be actual blood relatives with someone for them to feel so important to you that they feel like family. 

The story is told from various character’s point of view and I really feel this enables a reader to get to know each of the main characters well but doesn’t stop any of the excitement as one character picks up the story from the previous one.

This book has all the parts of a great horror story but is also a fantastic story about friendship. I know it will appeal to a whole range of children because of this.
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