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Mistle Child (The Undertaken #2)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  188 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Silas visits the ancestral home of the Umber family to learn ancient family secrets in this “dark and gothic” (School Library Journal) contemporary ghost story, the second book in the Undertaken trilogy.

Silas Umber has finally come into his own as the Undertaker of Lichport when an invitation arrives: a mysterious word carved into the door of his house. Intrigued, Silas ve
Paperback, 368 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published February 12th 2013)
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Jan 19, 2013 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A superb ghost story and an excellent sequel, Mistle Child continues the story of The Undertaken, telling how Silas Umber takes the next step from being the Undertaker of Lichport to becoming the Janus of Arvale Manor, an ancient family position that wields extraordinary power and authority. Silas must live up to the obligations of his namesake, but in his youth and hubris perhaps creates more problems for himself that may have serious consequences. Silas continues to be haunted by an absence in ...more
Elliot Schott
May 24, 2012 Elliot Schott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-own
There is a genuine sadness to be understood while reading this series. I've found myself very much dealing with the post-read depression that occurs due to having immersed in Ari Berk's beautifully envisioned afterlife, where wrongs can be set right and the restless dead can find meaningful closure. Mistle Child is again no exception, and in this immersive sequel, one becomes lost in the mystery of Silas Umber's expansive ancestral home, Arvale, as well as the horrors buried and forgotten beneat ...more
The first of this series became an immediate favorite and the second has not disappointed. I'm still not sure why this is listed as YA other than the protagonist is a young man, but I can see some goth/emo type loving it. The style puts me in mind of Neil Gaman or Charles de Lint.

Prose are beautiful, the story is both dark and funny, lots of quirky town characters, that behind their urban face are really ancient psychopomps plus a dash of doomed romance. Best of all there are lots of antiquated
Mar 31, 2013 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, gothic
The second in the Undertaken series, Mistle Child continues the rainy, soft meditation on loss and the thin wall between the living and the dead. More plot-driven than Death Watch, the story builds around Silas and his clan, both past and present, and his journey to become the judge of the great Doom Door of Arvale. Wrapped inside the shifting halls of his ancestral home, the crux of the story stands on the spirit with no name and the mystifying 'Mistle Child' of song and rhyme, which all comes ...more
Oct 06, 2013 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started and stopped reading this book several times because I felt such a great sense of claustrophobia each time I followed Silas further on his journey. But I overcame my fear and what a delight this novel is! This is an evocative story and you will hear, see, touch and taste as you follow along. Very exciting to see Silas continue to grow into his new role as undertaker and the supporting characters are interesting. The only disappointment is that the novel ends and we have to wait for #3!
Mar 14, 2014 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another outstanding effort by Ari Berk. It turned out to be less scary than the first book (which meant I could read it at night.) There were some scary bits (it does involve dead people, after all!) but more poignancy, sorry and sacrifice.

As noted before, Berk is a masterful story-teller who makes the reader feel like. . . well, like one of the family.

Looking forward to reading "Lych Way" (update: which definitely did not disappoint!)
So many feelings about the end of this book. Right on to the last book.

Better review to come.
Oct 10, 2012 Littlebearries rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Silas ~ Main character. In the last book he was looking for his lost father. This time around, Silas is trying to remember something he's forgotten (with the help of some friends, unbeknownst to him). He is also on a mission to answer the call of Arvale, the ancestral Umber family home that exists both in our world, and in others.
Lars Umber ~ Silas's guide through Arvale, only other living person in Arvale that Silas has come across. Lars is keeping secrets of his own though, and repe
Eleanor Ng
Dec 27, 2016 Eleanor Ng rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4.5/5

This book was the sequel to "Death Watch", and I must admit, I liked it infinitely more than its predecessor. Probably due to the fact that this book was a lot shorter (333 vs 536 holy crap). It felt like more action was packed in this book, and aside from that, I was really glad to know more about Silas' family. I can't imagine having such an extensive family network. I see about 50 relatives every Chinese New Year, and I can barely keep track of all of them, much less a family of
Elin Nilsson
Jun 29, 2014 Elin Nilsson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites, 2014
The Undertaken Trilogy: Mistle Child, by Ari Berk. It's the second novel in The Undertaken Trilogy. I previously read Death Watch and it was really good albeit a bit slow at times. But while reading Mistle Child it became obvious that Death Watch had worked as some sort of prologue for the series. There's a lot of action going on in Mistle Child and it becomes impossible to put down. The series is filled to the brim with mythology and folklore concerning death. Ghosts, living dead, shadowlands, ...more
Billy Zayac
Feb 25, 2013 Billy Zayac rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ari Berk really outdid Death Watch. I was fairly impressed but not completely wowed with the first book in his series, but Mistle Child is a great book in general and an even better second-book-in-a-series. Why?

It definitely doesn't suffer from the second-book slump: while there are seeds sown throughout for the conclusion of the series, this book doesn't feel like filler. There is enough action that despite the handful of "hey, this is getting closer to the end of the series" mentions thrown in
Jun 08, 2014 J.Elle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This entire series was just ok. I wish it had been more like the Garth Nix Sabriel series, which is one of my favorites. Alas. Silas Umber is a strange child who becomes even more strange when his dad disappears and he and his terrible mother are forced to move back to the town where his parent's grew up and live with his dad's brother. Here Silas starts to learn the truth about his dad's profession which he thought was a typical undertaker. Instead, it was more of a guide for the dead, helping ...more
Krys (Black & Write Reviews)
Via Black 'n Write Review
My final thoughts:

I read the first book of this series back in late December and I was definitely left unsatisfied with the ending, and that being said (although I didn’t want to) pushed forward to read the second book.

In this book the main character, Silas Umber, is now the official Undertaker of Lichport and everything is going relatively well for him. Until his home is being etched with the strange name ‘Arvale’, which is a historic landmark for the Umber family.

Mia Nutick
Jan 27, 2013 Mia Nutick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This sequel to Death Watch is absolutely wondrous. Ari has done more lovely things with Silas and his world and I loved it in almost every way possible.

I especially loved the addition of Silas's cousins and the moment the reader realizes WHO they are (which is easy from Ari's clues if you read the right sorts of folklore but not everyone will have) the way that he has portrayed them is SO perfectly delicious that I actually squeaked out loud.

I do have to say that a few parts felt a bit rushed, a
I really liked this book. I read it because my son wanted me to. It would have been better to read the first one, first, and have the others close by. The poetry and marginalia at the beginning of each chapter were beautifully written, but the horror of evil was only hinted at. Allusions run thick and deep, and the titular Mistle Child was deftly embroidered into the tapestry of this book. My son asked who my favourite character was, and it was definitely the great, great grandfather, a very unu ...more
Debbie Patterson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Another fascinating installment in this beautifully written and wonderfully original series. The Mistle Child focuses less on Silas's duties as an Undertaker and more on his role as Janus. Also, this time most of the book takes place outside of Lichport in Arvale. This book was well placed and had plenty of plot twists to hold the readers interest. I'm anxiously awaiting the final book in the trilogy because of the shocking ending in book two. Excellent read! 4 stars.
Ryan Mishap
May 12, 2013 Ryan Mishap rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tighter than the first by far without being a slave to plot and retaining the somber, creepy atmosphere. This series won't be for everyone, but for those with a penchant for morbid tales who love to actually read and not just be entertained by whizz! and pop! than this will play right to your graveyard.
This book sounded really interesting, but after getting through a few chapters I realized it wasn't as awesome as it sounded. I think the idea is a good one, and as good as the details and explanations are I think that maybe they were overplayed? There was just a little too much detail, so it bored me a little. Aside from that, the characters seem very interesting-especially Silas.
Apr 01, 2013 Nivlac rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was really incredible. I was looking forward to reading this book. And I'm most certainly glad I did. It's even better than the first book(Death Watch). I simply cannot wait to read the third book Lych Way. Ari Berk is simply astonishing.
Cecilia Rodriguez
Silas is summoned to Arvale the ancistral home of the Umbers.
The plot uses ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology as inspiration. In this way it reminds me of Ray Bradbury's: "From the Dust Returned," which also has a human boy who lives with some very dark characters.
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)

Huh. I liked this, not as much as the first, and am going to have to have a serious think about it before I review.
Sep 29, 2014 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even better than the first!
Aug 25, 2013 Josephine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Dunno why I couldn't finish this one, as it's one of the ones I ought to love.
Kate Willis
Jun 22, 2014 Kate Willis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, great trilogy. Highly reccommend
This book wasn't as enjoyable as the first one, but it kept me interested in the characters. The ending picked up some speed and I'm looking forward to the next one.
Apr 19, 2014 Jillian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, library
The strangely beautiful saga continues, traveling to a house out of time full of secrets and dead eccentrics.
Moonlight Reader
Peter rated it really liked it
Feb 16, 2013
MC rated it liked it
Nov 20, 2014
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Ari Berk is a writer, artist, and scholar of literature, folklore, and myth. Former student of and assistant to Pulitzer Prize winning writer N. Scott Momaday, Ari has written everything from academic works on ancient cultures to popular books about myths and legends for children and adults and, most recently, a trilogy of novels. He works in a library filled to the ceiling with thousands of arcan ...more
More about Ari Berk...

Other Books in the Series

The Undertaken (3 books)
  • Death Watch (The Undertaken, #1)
  • Lych Way (The Undertaken, #3)

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