Horace Helfin’s Horrifying Halloween

John Philip McCarthy
Boathouse Entertainment (2012)
ISBN 9780961482916

Reviewed by Ben Weldon (age 14) for Reader Views (1/13)

“Horace Helfin’s Horrifying Halloween” by John Philip McCarthy is the story of nine-year-old Sally Connors and her friends who must try to stop the evil Goblin King before he conquers the planet.  Aided by the elf Horace Helfin and his apprentice Hector, the group must defeat the evil Goblin King before he turns everyone into his mindless red eyed slaves.  Can Sally and Horace defeat the Goblin King before it’s too late?

After coming to Earth, the Goblin King began to possess people to gain access to certain facilities.  He enslaved the owners of a major chocolate factory on Halloween and used their factory and workers to mass produce chocolates that would turn people into his minions.  Can Sally and Horace reverse the evil spell?

The book had a pretty interesting idea for the plot, but the author failed to develop the suspense and intrigue that would have captivated readers.  The scenes tended to jump back and forth and I was often left wondering how certain things had happened.  Problems were often solved just a little too easily by some freak occurrence or magic that had not been revealed or developed prior to the scene.

I would recommend “Horace Helfin’s Horrifying Halloween” by John Philip McCarthy to people who like fantasy books.  I think that this book would be most enjoyed by young readers, eight to ten-years-old.  This is the second book in the “Horace Helfin” series.  I would recommend reading the first book in the series before this one because it would help readers to understand the characters a little more as well as referencing events that happened prior to“Horace Helfin’s Horrifying Halloween.”

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