When Teddy Mathews moves to Richland, his main concern is making new friends. But something is not right about this quiet desert town: All the boys he meets seem to vanish before hie eyes, while the imposing shadows of the giant tree outside his home appear to be hiding more than darkness.
With the branches of the massive sycamore scratching at his window, Teddy's life becomes a waking nightmare that no one else believes. Can Teddy escape the tree's terrifying grasp and solve the mystery of the missing boys before he becomes the next boy to disappear?
I've been debating whether or not I wanted to stop reviewing YA until my son is a little older to read them. It seems that for the most part I either really like them or can do without. I think I'm going to have to keep reading them if they are anything like The Dead Boys.
This book is only 201 pages, but where it lacks in length it more than makes it up in storytelling. It's not every boy that can move to a new town and deal with a tree that is trying to eat him. Teddy is a strong young man who rather than hiding and being scared by the events surrounding him, decides to get to the bottom of it. From his first encounter with one of the missing boys, Teddy is determined to figure out why his new "friends" keep disappearing and why things don't quite add up.
Part of the reason why I wanted to read this book was because I've always been rather fascinated by "vampire" stories that don't quite fit into the typical mold. Two of my favorite short stories are about trees, "The Man-Eating Tree" by Phil Robinson and "The Sumach" by Ulric Daubeny both feature trees that feed off non traditional sources. The Dead Boys smoothly fits into that tradition and I'm looking forward to the day Aidan reads this all by himself.