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The Gathering

(Shadow House #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,678 ratings  ·  394 reviews
Some houses are more than just haunted... they're hungry.

Dash, Dylan, Poppy, Marcus, and Azumi don't know this at first. They each think they've been summoned to Shadow House for innocent reasons. But there's nothing innocent about Shadow House.

Something within its walls is wickedly wrong. Nothing -- and nobody -- can be trusted. Hallways move. Doors vanish. Ghosts appea
Hardcover, 217 pages
Published August 30th 2016 by Scholastic Press
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Bianca To have them forget who they were once so they would be like puppets and not have any control over what they did.

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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,678 ratings  ·  394 reviews

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Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Eerie story about five kids (aged 12 to 13) who go to a mansion called Larkspur and find it isn't what they thought it was going to be:

***Orphaned Poppy thinks she's meeting her Great-Aunt at her grand estate called Larkspur.

***Marcus thinks he's going to Larkspur Academy of the Performing Arts to study music.

***Actor twins Dash and Dylan think they are being offered a new script to a horror movie at Larkspur.

***Azumi thinks she's going to Larkspur Boarding School.

The kids never met each other
Richard Cardenas
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it



"The Shining" meets "Are You Afraid of the Dark"!

I will be talking about this so much better in my Book Thoughts video for it on my channel on August 30th but oh my freaking god, if you're a horror fan and love awesome creepy books, you need to check this out ASAP!!! It's got creepy children, a puzzle of a house, five mysterious pre-teens with spooky secrets of their own, an awesome APP to go along with the book, and it is full of action, suspense, and straight up horror. :)

Melissa Chung
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This was a loooovely creepy middle grade. I read a lot of horror, so when I started this book it kind of reminded me of 'Welcome to the Dark House' by Laurie Faria Stolarz. It isn't the same, but their are similarities which I loved. I'm so excited to read the sequel which comes out this December 2016.

The Gathering, book 1 of the 'Shadow House' (series, trilogy?) is about 5 kids. I'm assuming they are all around the same age, about 13.

We have Poppy an orphan who lives in a Group Home called Thu
Justin Tate
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
A clunky start that was probably much clearer in the author's imagination than it came across on the page. It does present an interesting premise though. Like a hyperactive tv pilot trying to explain a lot quickly, it could just be a rocky start to something great. Unfortunately I wasn't intrigued enough to want to read book 2
Sep 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own
The Gathering is the first book in a new series called Shadow House. This is a horror/thriller series aimed at middle graders. I'm not a huge reader of horror but this felt like a nice stepping stone between the youthful Goosebumps series and more mature horror like the works of King, Hill, Koontz or others. The story would likely be too creepy for younger readers but I'm sure some die-hard horror readers would call it tame. To me, it felt like a good balance for younger readers and I wouldn't r ...more
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
The cover of this book is super creepy and I couldn't wait to get to this book. I wasn't sure what I expected when I started but what I didn't expect was how creepy it would be. I realize this book is set for MG but I would think that kids that aren't scared easy would really enjoy the scares in this book. I don't scare easily but this book had me wanting to keep the lights on and read during the day.

The story follows 5 kids Dash, Dylan, Poppy, Marcus and Azumi, each gets a letter asking to come
Katie Harder-schauer
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of the audiobook version of this book through Audiobook Sync's summer reading program for teenagers with absolutely zero strings attached. This is my honest review.

This story was absolutely creepy. There's an underlying mystery that I still don't have fully figured out yet. The book had a bit of a House on Haunted Hill vibe to it. A part of me feels like the children that were lured to the house were chosen because of a genetic connection like in House on Haunted Hill. I have n
Sep 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This was already one of my most anticipated book of 2016, but after reading it... it has become my favourite series. I just want to know what is going to happen to the children, I want to know what is wrong with the house.

The book also comes with an app which will tell you more about the house. I still have to complete the app's story, but I am still stuck on the first story as I just want to get the options perfectly right. :P The app is just as creepy as the book is, with music and animations
Wendy Darling
2.5 stars Some nicely creepy moments, and along the lines of what I'd hoped for from Welcome to the Dark House--sort of a mad funhouse type of caper.

But the four kids' stories start running into each other and don't really go anywhere (I think it would have been better to cut down on the number of kids or to explore the stories more deeply), and the creep/tension aren't pushed far enough. The style of the black and white photographs and the set-up make it feel a bit like a very facile, slick mi
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
The cast: Poppy Caldwell, a resident of Thursday's Hope group home for children without parents; Marcus Geller, a young phenom musician whose talent derives from a secret paranormal source; Azumi Endo, a troubled girl from the state of Washington who wants a fresh start at a school on the U.S. East Coast; and Dash and Dylan Wright, twin child actors who grew up on the set of a popular television sitcom. For each of these kids, just when their future seems murkiest, a message arrives offering an ...more
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
I can't review this one since it was my first full audiobook, and I couldn't pay much attention/missed a lot of the story. I don't think audiobooks and I are destined to be good friends.
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
I was not expecting this to scare me as much as it did! As a middle grade book, it really surprised me. I don't know if I would recommend this to any 10 or 11 year olds I know.
Nothing juvenile about the writing: it was descriptive without being overly verbose or cringy, and had some truly excellent - and chilling - similes I wish I could remember word for word to share here. The quickly shifting perspectives were handled adeptly (with all the characters having very distinct voices). Its short l
McCaid Paul
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
"Whenever Poppy Caldwell glanced in a mirror, she saw another girl standing behind her."
With the book's chilling first line, you know you're in for a scary ride! I'll have to admit, I was a little skeptical at how this would play out since it's middle grade. Would I even be scared?
I shouldn't have doubted this book, because I wasn't just scared, I was terrified! It was a very creepy and interesting read, with some nice twists too!
It presented several mysteries, all of which I was dying to fin
Mr. Steve
Jun 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
This book was really creepy. The cover is a winner, for sure, and the few pictures in the book were eerie (most pictures weren't finished for advanced reader's copy). I think this book will have huge appeal to middle grade kids who love horror - although, to be honest, I think it might be a bit much for the kids who think they love scary books but really mean books like Goosebumps.

The story itself was pretty good for me, and I did not like how the story did not really end, but set itself up for
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Poppy, Azumi, Marcus, Dash, and Dylan are all summoned to the Shadow House, though each thinks they're there for a different reason. Poppy believes she's finding her long lost family, Azumi and Marcus both think they're going to a school, and Dash and Dylan think it's a movie set for their next gig. Once at the House, they discover something is deadly wrong. Ghosts haunt the house, mess with their heads, and make it impossible for them to leave..." Full review at Fresh Fiction: http://freshfict ...more
Stephanie  Weatherly
Oct 31, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was entertaining, but lacked the thrills I was looking for. The cover is creepy and lured me in. I enjoyed the pictures throughout the story as those helped to add the suspense factor. I felt that the ending was a bit of a let down and didn't wrap up all the loose ends as I would have hoped. A quick read for someone who likes the creepy factor to their books.
Julie Suzanne
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ms-library
PERFECT horror/ghost story for middle school kids. Poblocki doesn't hold back on the truly terrifying and complex plot events; it's everything that one would want from a horror movie when you're 11-13. As a librarian, I typically read award winners and other books beloved by adults and children alike, and frankly, my kids aren't usually looking for that. They want really, truly scary stories and still gravitate toward Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (which amazes me, really, as they are so sti ...more
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Last night I was looking for a short audiobook to listen to as I nursed Maddie to sleep out of the free summer audiobooks from SYNC. This wasn’t the best choice, seeing as it’s creepy and I’m very affected by creepy!

It was an interesting enough story, though a bit too YA for me. And I’m not too fond of Books in a series that end with so little sorted out. This is definitely not a “series but can be standalone” book. I’m not sure I will continue with it though, because it was just an okay read fo
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this!
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This completely creeped me out and the ending was a complete shock! Proof that middle grade reads can be horrific!
Apurva Khadye
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Spooked. Shocked. Scared.

After tricked to come to haunted house Poppy, Azumi, Dash, Dylan, Marcus. Try to fight demons of the house at the same time inside them.
I was spooked to core, I don't know how much middle grade me would have reacted.
And plot twist, never would have guessed also didn't want it to be true.
Can't wait to read sequel.
Jun 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This was pretty spooky, definitely fulfilling if you're looking for a campfire ghost story type feel. If I would have read it at night, I would have had that prickly back feeling.
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Creepy and fun, loved it! Highly recommend downloading the app that comes with this
Ms Cheryl Parkinson
Oct 07, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is a really quick read and I read it entirely within a few hours. Not my favourite, even though I couldn't put it down. It had some scary images within it, and had me a bit spooked throughout the day but now that its over, the fear hasn't lingered. Which, for me, is good, but the book seemed too shallow. I didn't like the way it ended at all, and especially the little surprise towards the end wasn't received happily by me.

I had expected more than I was getting. It did keep me intereste
Oct 11, 2016 rated it liked it

5 children are being lured to the Larkspur estate under false pretenses.
Poppy, Marcus, Azumi & twins Dash and Dylan don't know each other.

- Poppy thinks she's being adoptd by great a aunt & live at the Larkspur estate.
- Marcus believes he's attending Larkspur Acdemy for the Performing Arts.
- Azumi thinks she will be going to a borading school called Larkspur.
- Twins Dylan & Dash, 2 kid actors think they're going to shoot a horror movie at Larkspur.

All of them end up at Larkspur, but
Scott Fillner
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book aloud to my daughter who just finished 4th going into 5th grade. We loved it. She kept referring back to the illustrations and the card provided in the packaging. At some point interactive images and an app will be added but they are not included in this arc. We really look forward to reading the published version when it comes out in September. We are also very excited for January when the next book is published as well.
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Real scary book for mg. there is just one thing that didn't make sense to me. these children get invited to the haunted house via letter, email & message. they all assume that the house or the ghosts haunting the house, has invited them. so there must be someone, a person to send these invites? this book doesn't reveal that. if not, how can ghosts or haunted house send a letter, email or message? what is this? technological advanced haunted house & ghosts???
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fun and surprisingly scary book for children. This is the 1st in a series, and I'm already looking forward to reading book 2, You Can't Hide.
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Our minds can be the worst kind of tricksters. Especially when bad things happen. And bad things do happen. They'll keep happening too."

I think the only reason I liked this book is because I'm trash for books like this. I'm trash for Goosebumps and Are You Afraid Of The Dark and everything like that. I grew up on stuff like that. Although, this book has the same flaws. The characters are pretty bland and one denominational, but the plot makes up for it with a mystery that I could not predict, s
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Sunshine's review 3 9 Jul 11, 2017 07:09PM  
Sunshine's review 1 2 Nov 15, 2016 01:31PM  

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Author of The Stone Child, The Nightmarys, The Ghost of Graylock, and the Mysterious Four series,The Haunting of Gabriel Ashe, and The Book of Bad Things.

Other books in the series

Shadow House (4 books)
  • You Can't Hide (Shadow House, #2)
  • No Way Out (Shadow House #3)
  • The Missing (Shadow House, #4)