I got a copy of this arc at SDCC. I was drawn to it because of the creepy cover and the fact that I heard a lot of good things about the Pendragon series by MacHale.
This is a fast paced read and MacHale sets up the premise of the story very quickly. Marcus O' Mara is a young boy who begins to have supernatural visitations. They tell him to surrend the key yet he knows nothing about a key. After some research Marcus deiscovers a ghost he is seeing is of a recently deceased firefighter. When Marcus goes to the home of the deceased he finds his widow has a connection to Marcus's birth parents and the key that the dark force is seeking.
I read this book in a day, it was a real page turner. I really enjoyed Marcus and liked his friends Arabella and Theo. MacHale changes things up with Arabella. She perfers her nickname Lou, is a roller derby superstar and is Marcus's best friend. Marcus's other friend Theo is an African American kid who is the genius of the group,though very fearful at times.
Between the three of the kids they are able to unravel the mystery of the creature chasing them.
This book is a nice set up for the series to come, and is a great book for middle grade readers.