Pets of Elsewhere (Ghost Dog #1)
Published March 3, 2021
About Pets of Elsewhere
Haunted by four-legged ghosts in St. Augustine, a 12-year-old must help vengeful shadow-pets find rest or watch them pick off his family one-by-one.
Colten never wanted to leave Satellite Beach. His dad, a now retired Air Force Captain and his mom, a homemaker, couldn’t wait to open a bed and breakfast in St. Augustine, in a gorgeous Victorian that once belonged to a world-renowned veterinarian. Only, Colten sees things, hears things, and his sister almost dies—twice. Animal ghosts are reaching out from the other side with hints that the doctor may have been hiding things behind the Victorian’s closed doors, leaving Colten with two choices: help them or watch his whole family die.
PETS OF ELSEWHERE is a haunting middle grade thriller that blends elements of Pet Sematary with The House on Haunted Hill for kids who have outgrown Goosebumps and become die-hard fans of Supernatural.
I’m a little bit of a ‘fraidy cat when it comes to books like this, but I had a lot of fun reading PETS OF ELSEWHERE. I liked the sibling relationship between Colten and his sister Kennedy. It felt spot on from the way they picked at each other to the loyalty and protectiveness underneath. I liked the mystery elements and the way the ghost animals drove Colten toward the clues. The added element of danger, because the ghosts could cause real harm, was an interesting twist that I didn’t expect, and it really boosted the intensity and stakes.
PETS OF ELSEWHERE reminded me a little bit of THE DARKDEEP by Brendan Reichs and Ally Condie. I don’t know if it’s because I kept thinking of that book, but I kind of wanted a team or more of a solid friendship to emerge in PETS OF ELSEWHERE. Colten does make a couple friends and they sort of float in and out of the story, believing him about the ghosts, but no one really sticks with him to solve the mystery. I think having a friendship develop through the story like that would have been cool, but I still enjoyed it a lot just as is.
The descriptions of St. Augustine were also great. I felt myself nodding along to some of the descriptions of different places and the commentary on the way the town is. It was really fun to read a book set in a place I’ve been. Readers who enjoy creepy paranormal stories will definitely want PETS OF ELSEWHERE on their shelves.
Recommended for Ages 10 to 14.
Major characters are white. There are a couple of minor characters that are POC.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Colten sees and interacts with ghosts of dead animals. He figures out that he has to help them resolve unfinished business so they can move on to their afterlives.
Ghost animals attack Colten and his sister in a couple of scenes, leaving them with real injuries.
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