This is the story of fourteen year-old art prodigy Maxwell Cooper who can't wait to attend Apogee Art Academy, if he can only prove to his father that Max will stop spending time drawing dragons and goblins and ghouls and focus on drawing things that are real.
Max must spend the week of his family's annual vacation to Bear Tooth Point Resort putting together a new portfolio for the school's admissions board that reflects his father's ideology. Out of spite, Max decides to defy his father's rules on their very first night of vacation and draw a portrait of the legendary monster that is said to still haunt the grounds of Bear Tooth Point: the terrifying Inini-Makwa.
When the resort's guests begin disappearing, Max is confronted by a terrifying truth. His drawings have been coming to life and the monster terrorizing the resort seems to be targeting his family.
Now, with only his wits and his sketchbook to help him, Max must find a way to put an end to the creature's rampage of terror and vanquish the monster before Inini-Makwa kills everyone he has ever loved.
Plot/Idea: Hargreaves’s suspenseful, inventive plot sets budding fantasy artist Max on a crash course with danger when his drawings begin to come to life. While trying to stay busy on a family camping trip, Max discovers his ability grants him hidden powers—powers that eventually will threaten everyone he loves. Menacing adventure abounds as Max tries to right the wrongs his art has set into motion. The finale is satisfyingly tense and moving, uniting Max and his family through heartache and pain.
Prose: Hargreaves’s lyrical prose elevates the narrative, with smooth-flowing, natural dialogue and haunting descriptions that will transfix readers. Also substantial are the author’s introspective revelations, formed through reflective interior monologue and subtle sentences that allow readers an inside view of the troubled protagonist.
Originality: The dark plot builds unexpectedly, set against a backdrop of self-discovery and proving one’s worth, and accelerates to a pace that will shock readers. Protagonist Max elicits the perfect balance of sympathy and dismay—and Hargreaves’ willingness to venture into both triumph and tragedy makes this novel distinct.
Character Development/Execution: Max’s motivations are firmly grounded throughout the novel and provide a solid baseline for the story’s intensity to circle around. His father is a character who readers will quickly dislike, although the plot allows them ample space to come to terms with each other.
Blurb: A haunting, gripping story of one boy's desperate attempt to prove his worth and save his loved ones from certain disaster.
Date Submitted: May 06, 2022