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The Phantom Tower: 11/29/19

The Phantom Tower

The Phantom Tower by Keir Graff is a middle grade horror about twin brothers Mal and Colm and their mother moving into the Brunhilde Apartments in Chicago. They're able to afford a fully furnished, luxury multi-room apartment because the building has had trouble keeping tenants in recent years.

For anyone familiar with horror, the opening situation is akin to 666 Park Avenue, The Devil's Advocate, or The Sentinel. What's different here is that it's a mother and sons, rather than a newly married couple or a single person. Usually in horror when a family moves to a haunted place, it's a haunted house.

Mal and Colm comment on move in day that the apartment doesn't have a thirteenth floor labeled in the elevator. Their apartment on the fourteenth floor, they argue, is technically on the thirteenth. They find this detail both cool and a little creepy. Soon, though, they'll come to realize just how creepy it is.

At a certain time each day the elevator changes to include a button to the 13th floor. For one hour in the day one can explore a ghostly version of the tower and meet up with previous residents who continue to reside there. Through further exploration the twins come to learn that the building is cursed. Everyone who lives in the place ends up stuck in the phantom version for ever. Except now, the curse is about to run its course and doom the living to the phantom world!

As it happens, this horror novel sits in the road narrative spectrum at CCCCC. It's the story of twins going to uhoria via the maze. The phantom tower is a maze because it's possible to get stuck in the phantom zone. There are also dangers in the world of the living that they have to contend with. For a closer analysis, please see CCCCCC: Siblings through the maze to uhoria.

Five stars

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