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Friday, January 29, 2010

Book Review: Ghost in the Machine by Patrick Carman

Ghost in the Machine by Patrick Carman
Buy Ghost in the Machine by Patrick Carman

Ghost in the Machine
by Patrick Carman
Skeleton Creek

ISBN-10: 0-54507-570-X
ISBN-13: 978-0-54507-570-1
Publication Date: October, 2009
List Price: $14.99

Review: Do you enjoy ghost stories? The Internet? Reading from a journal? Join Sarah Fincher and Ryan McCray on the adventure of a lifetime. Skeleton Creek is the journal of Ryan, who writes down everything he find out about his seemingly dull life, until they explore dredge, and discover it’s haunted. Have you read Skeleton Creek? Then Skeleton Creek, Book Two: The Ghost in the Machine, is the book for you. It sounds like a really thick book, but honestly it’s not. Do you want to know why? You need a computer to understand the full story. This is considered a multimedia story. Every 40 pages or so, you just hop on the computer when Ryan tells you to and use the password (the website is Ryan McCray and Sarah Fincher are on the brink of finding out the secret of dredge asset #42, Old Joe Bush, and the Crossbones. Ryan is almost ready to go back to school. The videos get scarier. And, you may just find a few surprises while you read.

Drudge asset #42 is haunted, presumably the ghost of Old Joe Bush, and nobody believes Sarah or Ryan about it. And it doesn't help that Ryan's parents banned him from seeing Sarah ever again. The one bad thing about Sarah is that she doesn't take “no” for an answer. Ryan starts to freak himself out. We wakes up one night to find that he had written “Don't make me come looking for you” on the wall above his bed. And what does he conclude?... its Old Joe Bush. Sarah's videos get creepier, Ryan's journal gets harder and harder to stop reading, and the stakes get higher. While Ryan has to help Sarah and discover things for her while his mother and father check his computer, and Ryan can't walk with a broken leg, let alone go meet up with Sarah. Follow these two in the second book in the Skeleton Creek series the Ghost in the Machine.

Patrick Carman has a unique way of doing things, and frankly, many readers enjoy it. Instead of a simple paper book, he decided to add some technology into it. Carman has written a delightfully terrifying story, and everybody I've spoken to about it seems to have loved it. It gives you quite a fright, but this book may make you a bit paranoid, like it did to me. I wish I could give it more stars, but I'm only allowed 5, so he deserves all of the 5. There is one thing I would like to point out, though. If anyone is without a computer, they only get to experience about half of the story, and anything Ryan tells them from the video. The best thing to enhance this story had been the scenery. Nice, little town in the middle of nowhere, nothing ever really bothered it, then Ryan and Sarah, two innocent kids, go and find out that the smallest little town on the face of the US, has the biggest secret they could imagine. Ryan especially gets more and more worried (or you could call it paranoid) and freaks out at the smallest things. All in all, this story has been very enjoyable, but I don't want to spoil anything for those who want to read the book for themselves.

Review written by Willow (6th grade student).

We would like to thank The Mehta Family for providing a copy of Ghost in the Machine for this review.

Have you read Ghost in the Machine? How would you rate it?


  1. How clever is this? A multi-media mystery! I love the tagline: read the book, watch the video, solve the mystery. It just sounds so exciting. You don't mention it in your review, but the website for the videos is, where there's also a lot more information about the books in the series.

  2. I loved skeleton creek, but i cant find the second book. I searched the whole internet and got nothing. I really want to know what happens to Ryan and Sarah after they get locked in the cell by Old Joe Bush's ghost! I watched all the videos and they were awesome! Especially the last one: