by Patrick Carman
Review by Caleb Taylor
In a small town called Skeleton Creek in Oregon, there lives a boy and a girl named Ryan and Sarah, and they both share one thing in common with each other: their lust for information, the history of their town, and the mysterious mining dredge in the woods. Skeleton Creek has many mysteries tied to its history, like its name. Ryan and Sarah had tried to find the origins of the name Skeleton Creek and who founded it. Ryan writes in his journal almost every day, and he narrates what had happened before he wrote the journal and what was happening when he was writing in the journal. At the top of each page, there is a date, and the date is set in September. No year is written. In the journal, Ryan describes the town. It looks small, but old, town at the foot of mountains. Ryan mostly writes about the mysteries that he and Sarah have discovered.
Ryan writes about what happened when he and Sarah first went in an old mining dredge in the forest next to town that they had discovered. Sarah has an addiction to video taping the things that She and Ryan see, much like how Ryan loves to write about what he and Sarah see. Ryan was looking around when, at the end of the dredge, a man appeared. The man looked wet and was dragging one of his legs behind him. He remembers that the man gave him a warning to stay away from the dredge: “Number Forty-Two is mine. Stay away from this place I’m watching you”
(Carman 51). After that, Ryan was backing away when he broke through some wood rails and fell to the ground. All he remembered was waking up in the hospital with a giant cast on his leg.
When Ryan went home from the hospital, he found that Sarah had sent him an email with a password for her website. The website is for Ryan’s eyes only, but is available to watch at www.sarahfincher.com with the right password that Ryan gives in his journal.
Ryan and Sarah’s parents agreed that Sarah and Ryan shouldn’t see each other because they have gotten themselves into too much trouble. As a result, Ryan had to be careful when he emailed Sarah. The video shows the night when Ryan had his accident. The video shows Ryan exploring around some old rusty gears when the man came out of nowhere and stopped in front of Ryan. Then through the video you can hear Ryan screaming, and the camera is dropped. While recording the sound of feet running then the video was over. The man was not talking in the film. As Ryan and Sarah continue to reveal the secrets of Skeleton Creek, the Dredge, and the ghost of Old Joe Bush, they start to realize, they are not the only ones who do the hunting, but if you want to hear more about Skeleton Creek and there is a secret organization that seems to be helping Old Joe Bush and protecting some sort of secret at the mining dredge, read Ryan’s journal!
I myself at first thought that this book was just some random story about some river that is a sacred or dangerous place while one person finds some treasure, but when I read the book, I really enjoyed it! The book wasn’t some cheesy story of a man who finds some gold while many rumor about the location of the gold (or valuable item) was haunted but turns out there wasn’t a spirit trying to kill him but some crazy old man! Read the book if you want to read the ending of this hair raising story, and read the two sequels too! Hate to admit this but I tried to watch one of Sarah’s video’s but I warn you! I chickened out! It is that scary! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a story with plenty of suspense and who loves horror, although this book I would call scary, not horror. WARNING: Do NOT read this at night in the dark!