Review: Lois Duncan – Down a Dark Hall (K)

Down a Dark Hall
Lois Duncan

When Kit’s mother and stepfather go to honeymoon in Europe, Kit is sent away to a boarding school in the middle of nowhere. She hates the idea from the very beginning, but little does she know, the school is much worse than she could have ever imagined.

This book was focused more on atmosphere and feeling than on having a complicated storyline, with detailed descriptions of the characters and scenery. At first I wasn’t too fond of the descriptive nature as I felt like it was just fluff that didn’t add to the story, but over time I realized that it added to the atmosphere of the book and made it a much scarier read than it otherwise would have been. Considering that I read this book in the middle of the day, it did a great job at getting me spooked.

The mystery throughout the book, on what the school was trying to do, was quite well-written. The blurb on the back, describing it as a ‘psychic prison,’ gave away some of the mystery, which I wish hadn’t been included, but the details of what exactly was going on were still left to be discovered.

The ending of the book took me on quite a roller-coaster. At first, it seemed like the book was going to end in quite an unsatisfying manner, but at the last minute everything got turned around, and it became much more exciting.

This was quite a satisfying short book. I typically prefer reading longer books as I spend a lot of energy getting invested in characters, but for a short, few-hour read, it went through a nice arc and had a satisfying conclusion. The book also feels complete, which is nice as I often feel that shorter books leave loose ends that need to be tied up. The version of the book I read is the one written in 1974, not the 2011 update.

(This book was given to me by my grandmother, so I wanted to say thanks! And I love you <3)

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