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Watch Hollow by Gregory Funaro #BookReview

Deep within the enchanted woods in the town of Watch Hollow stands the once-grand Blackford House, whose halls hold a magical secret: a giant cuckoo clock that does much more than tell time. But when the clock’s gears cease to turn, an evil presence lurking among the trees begins to come out of the shadows.

When Lucy and Oliver Tinker arrive in Watch Hollow, they have no idea that anything is wrong. A mysterious stranger has made their father an offer that’s too good for him to refuse. All Mr. Tinker needs to do is fix the clock at Blackford House and fistfuls of gold coins are his to keep.

It doesn’t take long, however, for the children to realize that there is more to Blackford House than meets the eye. And before they can entirely understand the strange world they’ve stumbled into, Lucy and Oliver must join forces with a host of magical clock animals to defeat the Garr—a vicious monster that not only wants Blackford House for itself, but also seeks to destroy everything the Tinkers hold dear.

Book cover for Watch Hollow by Gregory Funaro - a middle grade fantasy horror novel

Title: Watch Hollow | Author: Gregory Funaro | Publisher: HarperCollins | Pub. Date: 2019-2-12 | Pages:320 | ISBN13: 9780062643452 | Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Horror | Language: English | Triggers: Mention of maternal death | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Source: Library

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Watch Hollow Review

Talking animals are always a tricky proposition for me, but I found Watch Hollow to be a charming read with enough creepy overtones to make my horror-jaded heart happy.

I started this as a buddy read with Jess from Storytime in the Stacks and swiftly found that I wanted to keep reading it. This isn’t a book you want to spread out over several days. It’s one you want to curl up with and blast through.

Out of the two children that we follow for the story (Lucy and Oliver) I have to say that it was Oliver that stole my heart. He’s a sweet, good-natured boy that has been forced to grow up way too soon due to the fact that life can suck. He’s a good big brother to Lucy. Lucy herself is young enough to see the magic in everything, hot-tempered, and seems like she would be an absolute handful. (Not necessarily in a bad way.)

While I liked all the good guys in Watch Hollow, I have to say that I found the Garr to be a bit much. Not how he acted, but how blatant he was about what he wanted. Maybe for younger middle-grade readers it’ll be perfect, though. Subtlety isn’t always their strong suit, lord knows!

The pacing is fantastic. I adored the characters I was supposed to like. I found myself invested in seeing the clock get restored. (And did I mention how freaking cool the idea of a clock that runs an entire house is?!) The end had me giving a mental cheer for the children and definitely warmed my blackened heart a bit. Overall, this was just a fun read told by a talented author, and I hope I can get my middle-grader as interested in it as I was.

This book is available at: BetterWorldBooks | Kobo | Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Waterstones

Published inKids FantasyKids HorrorKids' Book Reviews
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  1. Can’t wait to start on it. I went and borrowed it from the library after seeing it mentioned in one of your previous posts. I believe I’ll like it too. So far I’ve enjoyed the books I’ve discovered on here and chosen to read.

    • I hope you enjoy it and I’m really happy to hear that too!

  2. This sounds so good! I have to get me a copy!

  3. I’m very intrigued by the clock in this book.

    • It is a very intriguing clock. Especially the perpetual motion part.

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