Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman 2009
Skeleton Creek & Ghost in the Machine
Skeleton Creek is the first of a series. The story opens with Ryan (15/16) being house bound with a broken leg and full cast caused by a falling accident in a dredge on Skeleton Creek. Ryan and Sarah (16) have been forbidden to contact one another. However, urged on by evidence seen with their own eyes and a video recording documentation of that encounter with a phantom, the pair are drawn back together with a desire to seek answers to their questions and possibility to solve a mystery. Ryan's record of events in his journal, this book, and Sarah s collection of video evidence, viewed online at her web site, sarahfincher.com and accessed with passwords in Ryan's journal combine these media to tell this story.
An interesting read and viewing can be had from this embryonic merging of these two media. Example - in print is the statement by Ryan. If this were a video, not a journal, I'd have to stop. I'd have to rewind. I'd have to play that line again. However, in the beginning there are places where the text is a bit clunky or a bit juvenile for believability of the character's actions and interactions for their intended ages. Even beyond the supernatural expectations. Ryan's over blown reactions to some trivial incidents and Sarah's over acted expressions in early videos seem a bit belabored, but get better with the best video by far being the last one. The biggest pet peeve I have with recent serialized books is the trend of authors to edge closer to a story plot without a resolution. A plot that stops without an ending, without a point in the plot for the reader to exhale, relax, or a bit of a resting place, before the plot takes off again in the next serialized text. In this story the author only takes the reader to the climax. Making it a full fledged cliffhanger. How long will readers have to wait to resolve the Sarah - Ryan dredged dilemma? How long are readers willing to bite their finger nails or dangle with a clenched grip? I suppose I am old fashioned in that I think a text will provide more than a serialized television program. However, this is cutting edge and quality needs to mature. I am willing to invest in future art. Whether it is this series or another, time will tell if books and multimedia can merge artfully. This may not be as good as the next, but it most definitely needs to be enjoyed first. See first pages below:
Ghost in the Machine, Ryan (15/16) and Sarah (16) are still forbidden to contact one another. However, with time running out and urged on by additional information the two continue to conspire to solve the mystery of the ghost and the Skeleton Creek Dredge. Again this is a multimedia event with Ryan s record of events in his journal, this book, and Sarah s collection of video evidence, viewed online at her web site, sarahfincher.com and accessed with passwords in Ryan's journal combine to tell this story. Where as the first journal was a bit clunky that may be excused as it is the means to the second journal. The author does a very good job of bringing together an intricate twisting plot with surprises that involve multiple characters with differing and essential purposes for the story that drags the reader to an unexpected and enthralling climax. The video is essential for the climax and not just a nice accompaniment making a very good wedding of the two medias. Well Done. See first pages below:
First few pages Skeleton Creek: Ryan's Journal
The story continues with three more entries for the 13th. Then the first video: go to sarahfincher.com and enter - houseofusher
First few pages Ghost in the Machine: Ryan's Journal
The story continues by starting with a video. Go to sarahfincher.com and enter ...