When the Addamsville high school janitor is killed in a suspicious house fire, Zora Novak is the prime suspect in the arson. After all, she has a history of being in the wrong place at the wrong time when it comes to fire, and the Novak family is not exactly beloved by the rest of the citizens of Addamsville. What no one else knows is that Zora can see ghosts and hunts demons called firestarters. With the whole town turning against her, Zora begins looking for the real killer, who is likely connected to a string of deadly fires that struck Addamsville thirty years earlier. Zora’s investigation, with help from her cousin Artemis, is complicated when the crew of a ghost-hunting television show arrives in town.
If you are like me and prefer your ghost stories to fall more into the category of creepy and atmospheric than outright horror, then you will likely enjoy Zappia’s latest novel. Zappia does an excellent job of establishing the world and lore of Addmasville. From the descriptions of the small midwestern town and its history of the paranormal, to Zora’s own family history of a missing mother and an ability to see ghosts. Zora’s propensity to get in trouble while trying to secretly fight monsters will likely remind many readers of a certain Vampire Slayer. Zora is a compelling main character who is resourceful, snarky and surrounded by an interesting cast of secondary characters, including her cousin and older sister, who are also willing to jump in a fight Addamsville’s ghosts and demons. The plot moves quickly, and with plenty of descriptions of abandoned mines, cemetery’s and old houses, Now Entering Addamsville is the perfect read for the Halloween season. Now Entering Addamsville has a satisfying conclusion, but Zappia leaves enough of loose ends that there is plenty of material for a sequel, and I am eager for the chance to return to Addamsville.
A creepy Halloween read perfect for fans of Stranger Things, Supernatural, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
10/19 Caitlin Brisson
NOW ENTERING ADDAMSVILLE by Francesca Zappia. Greenwillow Books (October 1, 2019). ISBN 9780062935274. 368 p.