Barker’s novel begins when a grotesque stranger offers a bored ten-year-old boy a stay at Mr. Hood’s Holiday House. But the idyllic manor is not what it initially appears. (As readers, would we have it any other way?) To say more would ruin the suspense of the story, but even from the first page there is a sense of mortal tension.
There pictures are excellent. Whenever an author illustrates their own story, that story will be better for it. Helps with characterization, I guess.
Like Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, The Thief Of Always deals with themes of preadolescent ennui, wish fulfillment, venality and responsibility. If you liked Gaiman’s book, you’ll adore this one.