Monsterious Book 1: Escape from Grimstone Manor had been on my radar since it was first announced and I was super excited when I won a copy from the amazing Writers With Wrinkles Podcast giveaway! I highly recommend their podcast to anyone who writes or reads books!
But back to the book! I love a fast-paced, scary middle grade story with awesome friends and a fun, yet creepy setting. Escape from Grimstone Manor, the first book in Matt McMann’s Monsterious series, gave me all that and more. This is a book 10-year-old Barb would have loved to read under the covers at night by flashlight and then again the next day, sneaking reading time during math class. (Yes, I used to do all that.)
- A cool setting: amusement park + Gothic haunted mansion ride.
- Super creepy backstory: necromancer who lived in the spooky mansion where the ride now sits and who may or may not still be around.
- Awesome monsters: werewolf, lizard person, mummies, and skeletons!
- Three fantastic friends: Zari, Mateo, and Taylor.
When the three friends get trapped overnight in the haunted mansion ride, they have to find their way out. During their search, they stumble on a hidden staircase that leads them into a crypt that shouldn’t be there. A crypt! Yikes! And then there’s the monsters. The kids not only have to fight real monsters, but they need to find the courage to face their own inner fears and even each other, because even for the best of friends, some things are just too much.
Beyond the great action scenes and spooky moments, what I loved most was the friendship between Zari, Mateo, and Taylor. They’re three very distinct characters, but right from the start you could feel their connection with each other and I knew they were going to need to lean on each other to make it through the night.
Escape from Grimstone Manor was a fast read for me and I totally enjoyed each page. If you or the kids are into books like Goosebumps, then McMann’s book is a must-read for sure. Grab your copy and keep an eye out for the other books in this series. Book 2, The Snatcher of Raven Hollow is already out, book 3, Terror in Shadow Canyon releases in August, and book 4, The Beast of Skull Rock, is set to release January 2024.
You can find out more about author Matt McMann at his website here: https://mattmcmann.com/.