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Death Watch
by Ari Berk


Overview - They say the dead should rest in peace. Not all the dead agree.

One night, Silas Umber's father Amos doesn't come home from work. Devastated, Silas learns that his father was no mere mortician but an Undertaker, charged with bringing The Peace to the dead trapped in the Shadowlands, the states of limbo binding spirits to earth.  Read more...


 
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More About Death Watch by Ari Berk
 
 
 
Overview
They say the dead should rest in peace. Not all the dead agree.

One night, Silas Umber's father Amos doesn't come home from work. Devastated, Silas learns that his father was no mere mortician but an Undertaker, charged with bringing The Peace to the dead trapped in the Shadowlands, the states of limbo binding spirits to earth. With Amos gone, Silas and his mother have no choice but to return to Lichport, the crumbling seaside town where Silas was born, and move in with Amos's brother, Charles.

Even as Silas eagerly explores his father's town and its many abandoned streets and overgrown cemeteries, he grows increasingly wary of his uncle. There is something not quite right going on in Charles Umber's ornate, museum-like house--something, Silas is sure, that is connected to his father's disappearance. When Silas's search leads him to his father's old office, he comes across a powerful artifact: the Death Watch, a four hundred year old Hadean clock that allows the owner to see the dead.

Death Watch in hand, Silas begins to unearth Lichport's secret history--and discovers that he has taken on his father's mantle as Lichport's Undertaker. Now, Silas must embark on a dangerous path into the Shadowlands to embrace his destiny and discover the truth about his father--no matter the cost.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781416991151
  • ISBN-10: 1416991158
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  • Publish Date: November 2011
  • Page Count: 544
  • Reading Level: Ages 12-UP
  • Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.7 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds

Series: Undertaken Trilogy (Hardcover) #1

Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Horror
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Themes - Death & Dying

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2011-10-03
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this thought-provoking gothic fantasy, Berk makes the jump from interactive/novelty books (William Shakespeare: His Life and Times; The Secret History of Mermaids) to full-fledged novels. What results is a leisurely, digressive, yet genuinely eerie tale, first in the Undertaken trilogy. A year after his mortician father vanishes, 17-year-old Silas Umber and his mother go to stay with his father’s brother, moving into the family mansion in nearby Lichport, a town where ghosts lurk in every corner and the restless dead roam. Quickly estranged from his alcoholic mother and his increasingly unsettling uncle, Silas spends his time exploring Lichport and seeking his father’s fate, even taking up the family role of Undertaker to Lichport’s many spirits, acting as “part therapist, part lawyer, part travel agent and... part deportation officer.” As he grows into the role, he learns many of Lichport’s secrets, including his family’s darkest moments. Berk’s setting is atmospheric and creepy, fleshed out with a wealth of funereal traditions and folklore. The narrative occasionally drags, and some of the characters are broadly drawn, but it remains an intriguing opener. Ages 12–up. (Nov.)

 
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