Midnight at Madame Leota's by Amicus Arcane Review

Now, here's a book that will have your heart hammering even if it's a middle grade book meant to be read by kids. Other writers out there, you should take from this and not blame me for being a crabby adult. As an adult, I'm giving it four thumbs up (I had to include my big toes). The narration will carry you away with its flowing words. The author didn't do heavy descriptions, as he doesn't need to, just a manner of storytelling that will have you up on your toes.

Midnight at Madame Leota's by Amicus Arcane Review
Title: Volume II, Midnight at Madame Leota's
Author: Amicus Arcane
Series: Tales from the Haunted Mansion #2
Imprint: Disney Press
Publisher: Disney Book Group
Publication Date: July 17, 2017
ISBN: 9781484714713
E-book ISBN: 9781484719961
Format: I got an eARC from Netgalley for an honest review.
Page Count: 240
Ages: 8-12
Grades: 3-7

The Haunted Mansion's resident librarian, Amicus Arcane, has returned with another set of spooky stories to share. Follow along with him as he tells new terrifying tales while leading the Mansion's newest visitor to a secret seance with the mysterious Madame Leota.


Finishing this book puts a smile to my face. It's not always that I feel so nostalgic and this book has taken me back to my imaginative childhood. Needless to say, I like it a lot.

Kids of all ages will definitely enjoy this book. Midnight at Madame Leota's has a lilting prose that will make it easy to follow among kids. The author was really good at his craft of horror storytelling. The stories in the book were simple but ones that will gnaw on your head for its blazing uniqueness despite using overused references like the Vampire Count himself, a zombie with a singular purpose, and a haunting of an army of hideous insects (which is reminiscent of Stephen King's works). Oh wait, this book is supposed to be middle grade. Anyhow, kids who don't have background with popular horror icons (or those who just live under a rock) will still get the creeps as the author's writing style captures real terror no matter how simple the plot is.

Before I forget, I love horror stories set on carnival haunted houses (yes, the book has it as its first card). I consider it a trope but one that the author was able to utilize well. The last story in the book wasn't scary to me but the incident tugs at my heart. My heart would like to reach out to the poor 13-year old girl, Camille, at the hands of an abusive aunt. She had suffered too much and suffered enough. The aunt wasn't the typical abusive (she might be had Camille lasted more than a week with her) but what she did that led to the child's demise was just unacceptable.

I'm actually surprised with the ending. The ones I consider to be bad entities turned out the be guests and therefore, decent ghosts. That was just a nice turn of events for me. I was anticipating some tragic thing to happen (despite the book being laced with tragic things) to William, our protagonist, since that's what the voice was implying (yes, that annoying one which tries hard to be scary). No, I'm not annoyed by the voice. I actually find it funny. By the voice, I'm referring to this disjointed texts that have their own creepy font (it's a separate voice directly addressing the audience).

The book was chiefly written in third person and just I love the style of directly addressing the reader. With it, I would say that the best part of the book is the humor. The book is so pun-ny that it's so funny (puns everywhere, get it?). The house (house for fans of the series) will be packing as I truly enjoyed this book despite being new to the story. To new readers out there, welcome and enjoy your stay at the Haunted Mansion.

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