The best way I can describe the two main settings in Eve Hallows and the Book of Shrieks is what I'll call the Reverse Narnia. In many children's fantasy novels, the story begins in the normal, mundane world, and then the main character is transported to a magical world. We see this when Dorothy goes to Oz; when Harry goes to Hogwarts; when Wendy or her brothers go to Neverland; and, of course, when Peter, Lucy, Edmund, and Susan step into the wardrobe.
In Book of Shrieks, however, the reverse happens, at least from the reader's perspective. Eve, a fourteen-year-old human girl, begins the story in her normal, mundane world called Gravesville, which is populated by monsters, haunted castles, spooky shops, and a graveyard as big as an ocean. But for Eve, this is normal, because all she's known her whole life is Gravesville.
When she is forced to leave her home due to a recent slew of murders, Eve and her family are transported to our world--normal for us, but completely backwards to her. Here she must do bizarre things like go to high school, work at a pizza place, and actually talk to other humans.
Much of the story's tension (and comedy) comes from this reversal of settings, because the reader knows exactly what she's doing wrong, even though she doesn't. For instance, there's a scene in Book of Shriekswhere Eve is getting ready for her first day of high school, and she's putting on a Halloween costume and checking her Bride of Frankenstein hairdo in a mirror. You know this isn't going to end well, but you want to root for her anyway … at least I hope that's the reaction you have.Author Robert Gray
Robert Gray is a writer. If that job description doesn't impress you, how about fantasy writer? Too general? Well, he doesn't get insulted if you call him a horror writer. If horror's not your thing, then scratch out horror and replace it with suspense. And for the kiddies, you can slap on a YA or MG in front of that title.
Gray lives in Bushkill, Pennsylvania with his wife and two children.
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