This was a solid "children's gothic" book, and I enjoyed reading it.
I unfortunately guessed early on what was actually going on (I'm not sure if that says something about the book industry that this is almost passé or if it says something about me?), but it was still...I don't want to say a "fun" read, but a good read, certainly. I enjoyed getting to the ending and seeing how everything was wrapped up.
Jimmy is a comfortable sort of main character in that he isn't brilliant, but he isn't an idiot, either. He behaves in a rational manner throughout, is worried about the things he should obviously be worried about, and even those things he does not wish to believe are rational things for him to reject. He never deeply impressed me, but he never annoyed me, and I did feel something for him regarding his past.
The side characters were a little more faintly sketched, although there was little time to really fill them out, and the focus was absolutely on Jimmy and on his attempts to figure out the secrets of the house in which he found himself. I might have liked to see more of the other supporting characters, but it was a tightly-written story that didn't have time for subplots that didn't lead to further information on the main story.
The best aspect of the whole novel was definitely the atmosphere--Maynard Sims nailed that, and the eeriness in which the house was presented and the apparent kindliness of characters that turn out to be complete snakes made for a fun read. I read it straight through without coming up for a breath, and it is always nice to have something to do that with.
In the end, it was a fun, quick read that is probably worthwhile for those that enjoy children's/middle-grade horror/thrillers.
This book was provided to me for free by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.