Trigger Warning: Pet Death
This was a very fast read, I mean I got through this in 2 hours. Room of Shadows has a very interesting idea at hand. A young boy moves into a new place (which is actually very old) which just so happens to have a secret room that was used by none other than Edgar Allen Poe. Now I went into this not knowing there was going to be any connections to Poe (I literally just picked this up at the library based on the title) so when I started to make the connections that Poe was involved in this story I thought it was pretty cool. I enjoyed how Kidd gave a different approach to Poe’s death compared to what we know and for what the story was working with it fit in really well.
The story theme from what I took away from it was suppose to be based around anger and how it can turn people into monsters. I definitely feel like the approach to learn and dealing with the anger issues that David has wasn’t handled the best. It definitely feels like it was brushed over very quickly without actually giving him any character growth. Libby felt like a prop that was only necessary to use when Poe attacked her, other than that she just kind of appeared made some giggling noises and only occasionally contributed to helping David solve the mystery around The Raven. I thought at a few times it felt like there was going to be a deep(ish) conversation between the two over David’s anger and where it was originating from but it never happened. Even when David has his ultimate show down with Poe, nothing is really brought up about how Davids anger is something he needs to work on, it was definitely pointed out how his anger was contributing to Poe’s life, but it would have been nice to see the story come full circle and really dive into why not working on controlling ones anger can have consequences.
The horror aspects of this story where definitely spot on and at times I kind of forgot I was reading a middle grade horror book. The fear and themes of death where very up front and in your face, and if you are a fan of Poe then you will instantly recognize what each moment is based off of. I will say if you have an issue with pet death then I highly recommended you don’t touch this one, as one of Poe’s stories involving a cat is reenacted in this, at a school, and it is not glossed over, kind of threw me for a loop to be honest.
All in all Room of Shadows is an extremely quick dark read that can give you those scary vibes if you are in the mood for them.