I'm not going to pretend this book has the world's best writing (although the writing certainly isn't bad), but it deserves four stars simply for being so FUN. I didn't really know what it was about going into it and was expecting more of a high fantasy type story, but it's more like kid-level horror in a medieval setting. It's perhaps a bit scary for sensitive kids under 12, but other than that, it strikes the perfect tone of spine-shivering creepiness but isn't over-the-top gory like The Monstrumologist series. My favorite thing about this series is that the heroes are up against the paranormal but do not use magic to defend themselves. They have to rely on their common sense, instincts, and written knowledge from previous incidents. Since they can't use magic against magic, it makes the battles scarier. So, so, so fun.
Recommend to: tweens and younger teens of either gender, fans of Goosebumps who might like something a wee more subtle and developed, fantasy fans