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3.19 of 5 stars 3.19  ·  rating details  ·  205 ratings  ·  43 reviews
"It's something of a Romeo and Juliet story. There was a young couple in Salem, long ago . . . And the girl's mother, she hated the boy. When the witch-hunting began, mother, daughter, and suitor all ended up at the Blackthorne hanging."

Now, ages later, in the cold, dark heart of the Victorian era—an age of black clothes and black moods—one train is bound for Blackthorne,
ebook, 224 pages
Published August 25th 2009 by HarperCollins (first published July 22nd 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 537)
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Tess and Tobias Goodraven are a wealthy, seventeen-year-old married couple living in Mass. during 1892. Both of them lost their parents in a theatre fire when they were young, which led them to become intrigued by the phantom world, and each other. Their morbid fascination with the occult helps Tobias stumble upon an old legend about the 1662 Salem Witch Trials and the "First Accused," who was a real witch and purely evil. Unable to resist, Tobias convinces Tess to take a train to Blackthorne to ...more
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Allie Brown
This is a spooky book that 6-9th graders would enjoy. Tess and Tobias Goodraven are orphans who found eachother after a tragic fire took the lives of both their parents. They are 17 and married. They also enjoy ghost hunting in their freetime! However, this trip is nothing they planned for... In search of the witches that escaped from the Salem witch trials, Tess and Tobias are on a train to Blackthorne MA in the 1800's. On the train they encounter a mix-match of characters all out for the same ...more
I thought that the premise of this book sounded interesting and I still do but poor execution spoiled the overall arc and dragged the story down.
I thought this plot to be better suited for older characters and it was hard to think of this married couple as mere kids, which I assume the author knew since he felt the need to remind us every few chapters that Tess & Tobias were young and different. I found the characters to be annoying and unlikable. Tess was weak as well as spineless with Tobi
I read this book back when it was first published and hadn't picked it up in the years since. I hadn't remembered much of it, only that I really loved it. And thanks to some pretty horrible weather on the East Coast, I recently had the pleasure of reading it again. And truthfully I have to say that I loved this book even more the second time around.

While the writing itself can occasionally be a bit redundant and difficult to follow, (a mistake I blame on the editors and not the author) the stor
This was a very difficult book for me to get through, in fact, I was unable to finish the book. It lost my interest about half way through and I was easily distracted from the book. It started off strangely and I wasn't really "feeling" the characters. : (
Decent plot, horrible execution.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Rebecca Wells for

Blackthorne has always been haunted. A tiny town in Massachusetts, it has been abandoned since the Salem witch trials, when a group of unfortunates fled there only to be hanged as witches.

Now, in the heart of the Victorian era, one train is bound for Blackthorne, where a winter carnival awaits in an attempt to breathe life into the old town. The cars are full of the promise of fireworks, sleigh rides, and skating, but Tess and Tobias Goodraven, two
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Angie Fehl
I was sucked in by the Prologue but then the first few chapters were a little weaker for me, had me thinking this would be a solid 3 star read. There was enough to keep me interested to keep reading and by the end I was all into this story! Just the right amount of black humor and creep factor to make this a really fun Halloween read, my favorite of this month! Full review here:
The writing was of the quality of "it was a dark and stormy night." I admit it had a creepiness to it, and it is certainly gothic, but way over the top, like a slasher movie. Two teen orphans, Tess and Tobias, are husband and wife in Victorian America, and they are addicted to searching out the occult, because they are sensitive to the spirit world. Their latest mission is to go to Blackthorne, the town the real witch of Salem fled to to escape hanging and to feed on the ancient evil that even t ...more
Parts of this book were scary. I could see how some many thought it played out like a horror movie. I did not like the ending but I guess it left it open in a dead villian hand twitching way!!
ok, i'm going to dork out for just a moment here and say that this was a really, really, really FREAKING AWESOME gothic ghost/witch story. i mean it was fantastically written and not hokey AT ALL for its genre, and trust me, paranormal fiction can get undeniably cheesy. the characters were likable, the story was scary as hell and the ending was SO! GOOD!! and unpredictable. well, i kind of predicted it but still... i was sad when i finished it. trust me, get this book and read it on a rainy, dar ...more
ugh.. When this book ended I was so sad! It was so good and addicting. When the book ended I was wanting more and I denied the truth. I didn't want the end to be real. After all they went through they completely failed because they weren't strong enough. I would advise anyone who loves a ghost story, a twist, and an unhappy ending. Hightman made you fall in love in with the charsters just to rip them away in the end. But it wasn't disappointing. it deserves a five but the ending made me sad so I ...more
This book is not for people that get scared easily. A couple of parts even freaked me out. This book is about a curse that was put on a town close to Salem, MA during the Salem Witch Trials. I have no idea if this is based on something that really happened or not. Parts of this book were confusing and I felt like there were chunks left out of the story or not explained but the story line was likable. This is a must read for those who like scary stories or are interested in the Salem Witch Trials ...more
It didn't start out really good, but later in the book it got so good I got peeved at my mom for making me stop reading for dinner!!! I nearly cried at some of it, and I thought that the only problem there was that Malgore killed everyone that the Spirit tried to communicate through, including Annette, who was growing on me. Also, the way he described some of those deaths was really elaborate and well written, but also gives you a picture in your head that you really don't want to see.
"Spirit" was an amazing book! It was historically accurate and put a horrifying yet interesting twist on the Salem Witch Trials. I was unhappy with the ending, but just with the way it had turned out. The book was written very well, and the author definitely knew what he was talking about. I especially loved the characters, Tess and Tobias. They were easy to love, and even though they had a tragic ending, I still loved them both to death.
reminiscent of Chris Wooding's The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray. good.
fast read. could be historical horror, takes place mostly over the course of a day. didn't quite understand all of the story, but assume it has a backstory steeped in esoteric folklore. If it doesn't, don't tell me. I'd rather labor under the delusion that i'm reading a grimm fairy tale that is darker than i used to think.
Stephanie Bates
Mar 07, 2011 Stephanie Bates rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to anyone interested in salem witch trials or historical fiction
Shelves: ghost, magic, 3returned
I loved the book though at times found it grosome. I would read it again as the attention to detail was phenominal and the story solid. It kept my attention all the way though and even finished it from start to end in a couple of days. At the end I was stunned to read what happened though it left haunting lingering thoughts that could only come from a good horror story.
Normally the topic of Salem bores me to tears, but finally an author finds something fresh to say on the topic. Tess and Tobias are a likable, wealthy young couple... who happen to be clairvoyants. They take a train ride to a cursed town and that is only the beginning. This novel is crisp, amazingly descriptive for being so short and will leave a lasting impression.
This is more a 3.5 stars.

I don't really see why this book has such a low rating, I must say I was pleasantly surprised. This book wasn't at all what I expected. There were moments where I was a little confused in the action or found some of the details and explanations unclear, but I really enjoyed the story and it kept me reading anyway.
The book starts off kind of annoyingly - probably in part because I took such an instant dislike to Tobias. The book does get better after a while and becomes quite creepy. I keep thinking of The Blair Witch Project though because of all the running around in the woods, I guess.
very good book
crazy ending! after all that, tess and tobias helping the ghosts kill the witch, just to have their lives stolen.
i wouldn't have let that slide, man. forget playing the cello, i would been knocking over tables and getting even!
Elizabeth Nesbit-comer
yuck the writing is horrible, couldn't make it past ten pages, but had a good laugh over several of the overly wordy sentences that made no sense. I read a few out loud to my husband and he asked me if I was reading a parody.
Enka-Candler Library
I'm afraid I just didn't like this one. I got bogged down in it and I just didn't care about these characters. I see that several others thought it was a great read, but I simply struggled to get through it.
1800's ghost hunters find themselves on a train toward the town outside of Salam where real evil dwells.
I loved the thought of this book. The ending left me a little unhappy - for a lack of another word.

Full of suspense...with a bit of horror/thriller! Basis on the Salem witch trials, and focuses on one of the accused witches, her daughter, and her daughter's boyfriend.
Interesting storyline and plot.
This book was totally creepy. Not like a slasher movie kind of creepy, but like Skeleton Key or The Others kind of creepy. (Actually, it reminded me a lot of Skeleton Key.) Brilliant!
Younger or squeamish readers might want to be cautioned as there are some gruesome scenes and supernatural horrors. The tale was mostly cliché but it ended with a nice twist.
I chose this book originally for the historical aspect of it because it talks about the Salem witch trials. Then it became clear that this was a mystery also.
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J. P. Hightman also writes as Jason Hightman
More about J.P. Hightman...

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