Nicky and Tara still live in Max's bedroom, and while they've found some clues, they still don't know what happened to their parents. Meanwhile, Phears is still desperate to get his hands on Nicky and Tara, and to pressure Max into turning them over, Phears brings a Berserker Ghoul to inhabit Max's body--and make Max go berserk when he least expects it! But Max, Nicky, and Tara aren't giving in to Phears. They have a few tricks up their sleeve--like one very talkative ghost cat, who's taken residence inside the tunnel to the ghost world. . . .
This rather inane tale launches Stine's attractively priced paper-over-board Mostly Ghostly series, starring 11-year-old Nicky and his younger sister, Tara, who, walking home one evening, realize they have no memory of where they are coming from-or of anything else. ("Why did I suddenly have a hole in my brain?" wonders Nicky.) Arriving at their house, the two discover another family is living there, including 11-year-old Max, an aspiring magician. As the story unfolds through Nicky and Max's first-person narration, the siblings realize that they are ghosts who fade in and out randomly, and enlist Max's help to discover their parents' whereabouts. Meanwhile, Phears, an ominous ghost who appears in the guise of various animals, begins haunting Max and insisting he lead him to his new ghostly pals. In a brief appearance to Nicky and Tara, their former housekeeper (now also a ghost) cryptically warns them about Phears, saying that he "knows about your mom and dad" and that he "let all the ghosts out." The fact that only Max can see and hear the ghostly youngsters creates some humorous, sitcom-esque moments, and Stine injects the occasional creepy scene that will bring on scattered goosebumps. But readers may feel cheated that the author leaves the plot dangling, "to be continued" in the series' second volume, Have You Met My Ghoulfriend?, also due this month. Ages 7-10. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Delacorte Books for Young Readers
August 23, 2004
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