Beyond by Graham McNamee

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Beyond by Graham McNamee

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Creepy story of a girl whose shadow has a - murderous - life of its own. Genuinely chilling and full of interesting characters, this is one for all those who enjoy things going bump in the night.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 208 Date: January 2013
Publisher: Hodder
ISBN: 144491278X

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Teenager Jane's life so far has been plagued by near-fatal accidents. The last one left a nail embedded in her brain and the doctors say surgery is too dangerous. And she sleepwalks at night, walking alone in a daze up the highway. As you can imagine, Jane's parents are beyond worried about her. But they don't know the worst of it. Only Lexi, Jane's best friend and fellow Creep Sister, does. The truth is that Jane's shadow is trying to kill her. Literally. She has no control over it but it has control of her.

But Jane is a strong character. With Lexi's help, she is determined to battle her shadow enemy - and win. But the girls' sleuthing connects Jane's story with a string of murders and a serial killer. Jane's shadow isn't the only danger out there...

Ooh! Beyond is deliciously creepy! Jane's feelings and fears are described in a vivid and chilling way - and you can imagine how terrifying it must be to have your own shadow attack you. It's truly Hitchcockian. I've seen McNamee described as a Stephen King for teens and I can see the comparison, but McNamee writes in a much tighter, more focused way. Beyond comes in a tad over 250 pages and has very short and punchy chapters. It's a very effective style - vivid, terse, atmospheric - and makes for a real page-turner of a story.

Jane and her friend Lexi are interesting characters with their own daft quirks and eccentricities. They suffer for this at school as it is - we all know how peer groups find and treat supposed freaks - and so Jane's travails only add to their sense of isolation both in terms of Jane's awful secret and in terms of their wider social group. I thought this was rather clever - McNamee has the teen peer group down pat.

Great story. Great characters. Great style. Great chill. What more could you want from a supernatural horror novel? Eh? Recommended.

A similarly disturbing story, this time in a dystopian setting, is D4rk Inside by Jeyn Roberts. We also loved the creepiness of Dark Warning by Marie Louise Fitzpatrick - this time given the historical treatment of nineteenth century Dublin.

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Buy Beyond by Graham McNamee at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Beyond by Graham McNamee at


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