Ryan and Sarah’s story continues in this intriguing puzzle-solving ghost hunt across America! Ryan is resigned to settle into a quiet (okay boring) summer in the now wealthy small town of Skeleton Creek, working in his dad’s new fly fishing shop, and spending lots of time reading and writing on his lonely front porch. What’s that? Where is Sarah? Sadly, his best friend has moved far away, both sets of parents agreeing that keeping the teens separated keeps them, well, alive. If you’ve read the first two Skeleton Creek books, you know these two do tend to get neck deep into deadly dilemmas.
Though they are physically separated, the two friends are very much in e-contact. Finally, Ryan drops the bomb. Despite being deeply afraid, he shares with Sarah that he found a mysterious envelope “left behind” at the old gold dredge, inspiring her to embark on a Haunted Road Trip from Boston to Los Angeles. Now how on earth did Sarah pull off getting permission from her protective parents? Well, not only is she no longer hanging around with Ryan in Skeleton Creek, but she gets accepted into a summer film school program at UCLA (yay). She sells them on the idea that if she can create a video diary of locations along her route to California, it will be the best student film project EVER. Her parents agree only because they have no clue of the dangers involved since each road trip location was chosen due to its direct connection to not only the Ghost of Old Joe Bush, but even more dangerous, the secret society of The Crossbones. And The Crossbones are watching.
Though Ryan’s leg is completely healed, he still ends up being the one stuck at home, frustrated and bound to his obligations while Sarah takes most of the real risks. Digging up graves (ew), sneaking around haunted high schools (yikes), coming face to face with a ghost in a mirror (um, no thanks)… spa-ookie stuff! But after that horrendous betrayal by Henry, Sarah is a bit more discreet in her videos to Ryan these days. She never shows her face, but in addition, she’s becoming quite the professional filmmaker on her journey to UCLA. A documentary of each haunted location is posted so the reader can learn a little history while they get the pants scared off of them. (I swear after watching all these videos I jump a lil’ bit every time a crow caws).
Similar to the first Skeleton Creek videos, we see Sarah in the field, exploring and uncovering clues, but in this leg of the journey we get to view more old, scratchy footage of The Apostle himself. The Apostle is seriously scary, in that, he seems like a total whack-job, yet he warns of an even greater threat… THE RAVEN. Like they didn’t have enough to worry about with double crossing, vengeful Henry on the loose and the real Ghost of Old Joe Bush floating about allegedly possessing people. Okay, it does seem that the ghost is more or less benevolent, maybe even friendly toward Ryan and Sarah, but you just never know for sure. Ghosts can be so freaking touchy about their gold and stuff after they’ve been murdered and all.
The story takes a few unexpected turns, not the least of which is that Ryan’s mom is a major Bon Jovi fan. Patrick Carman fans get another giggle as Sarah discovers “wonderful waffle houses” on her cross country road trip. But Ryan finally takes manners into his own hands and risks everything to find the final piece of the puzzle… is the enemy much closer than he ever imagined? This story will continue as we eagerly await Skeleton Creek Book IV, The Raven. Burr-ring it!
Patrick Carman does it again with yet another amazing multimedia adventure. Multimedia is storytelling in a variety of media. Carman cleverly combines a book, Ryan’s journal, with videos on Sarah’s website directed by Jeffrey Townsend, and now even Facebook pages to enhance the story as it continues. Ryan and Sarah are on Facebook! You can totally interact with them… how cool is that!
Keep them coming Mr. Carman!
Purchase The Crossbones (Skeleton Creek III) from Amazon!
Patrick Carman talks about the actual gold dredge and the filming of the Skeleton Creek Series