Book Review

The Shiverton Hall Series – Emerald Fennell

Shiverton Hall is a school with a sinister reputation, as its newest pupil, Arthur Bannister is about to find out. But the spine-chilling tales, evil spirits and unearthly noises are the least of Arthur’s worries. It’s his friends he need to watch out for… 


The Shiverton Hall series is currently made up of 2 books, set around Arthur Bannister and his move into Shiverton Hall school. He gets a scholarship there having never heard of the school and gets an odd feeling about it right from the start. 

The ghost stories start from his very first night and he is, at first, sceptical to say the least. But as weird and unusual things start happening, Arthur has to admit he needs to start taking things a little more seriously. 

The first book is a great start to any series and I loved every page. There was intrigue and spookiness throughout. With fantastic old-school style ghost stories like those me and my friends used to share with each other years ago. The stories interlaced with what was happening at Shiverton Hall were so fun that the horrific goings on weren’t as terrifying. The main plot running through the story was about the kids seeing their old imaginary friends and was spine chilling to say the least. 

The second book was unfortunately a little less enjoyable and I found it more difficult to enjoy. Although the characters and the stories were still there, the plot and the way it was written was a little disappointing, I maybe read it too quickly after the first but the constantly references to earlier bits of the story annoyed me a little and there was a lot of the book that could be seen as a copy from others of its genre, when the first stood more like its own world.

I think the books will definitely intrigue some younger readers, especially ones who dont like reading too much and I think my stepson would have loved them when he was the right age for them. Spike though got scared looking and the covers so I doubt she’ll be interested when she gets to 8 or 9!  

For me, they were a fun Halloween themed read and enough to ease me back into fun reading after a few months of adulting reading non-fiction so I’m really glad I picked them up! 

For more info on the Shiverton Hall series head to the Bloomsbury Website. My copies of these books were received from the publisher to review in 2014. 

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