Their next door neighbor, Mrs. Zimmermann, is also a witch, and Lewis' Uncle and her have been trying to find out the location of the clock for many years. They know that is was built by an evil warlock and fear that when it finally stops ticking, something dreadful will happen.
Lewis, now introduced to magic, starts fiddling about, and on Halloween, while trying to impress a friend, he accidentally raises the spirit of the evil warlock's wife. Alive-ish again, she is determined to get to the clock and accomplish her husband's dastardly plan. Lewis, Uncle Jonathan, and Mrs. Zimmermann are all that stand in her way!
This book drew me in from just the title alone, A House with a Clock in its Walls. What? Constant ticking, impending doom, and they can't find the clock? So cool! I am a sucker for a good fantasy. Lewis is an interesting kid. He is a bit heavy and on the plain side. He is awkward and unable to play sports, so he is always picked last. His main motivation in the book is to keep a friend, which of course, leads to raising the evil witch from the dead. I totally understood his character. He is also scared of being sent to live somewhere else, so when he does raise the dead, he doesn't tell his Uncle about it, which makes perfect sense.
The magical world that the Uncle inhabits is actually downplayed, and the reader doesn't get much of a peek into what actually can or can not be done with magic. There's a strange eclipse and a magical fight between Mrs. Zimmerman and the evil spirit, but so much more is hinted at! I'm hoping this will develop in the follow-up books.
On a technical note, I was thrown off a few times when the author suddenly switched into Uncle Jonathan's point-of-view mid chapter and then back to Lewis. Other than that, it is well written and a great story. For younger readers, there is a high score on the creep-o-meter. This is not a funny, scary book, it is a good versus evil kind of story.
I can not wait to see what Hollywood makes of this book. The potential is HUGE and the fantasy and magic part might really blossom. Overall, I'm giving the book 4.5 stars!
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