Dallas Reed, Author . HarperTeen $8.99 (314p) ISBN 978-0-06-117737-8

Reed, pseudonym of Thomas Pendleton (Mason ; coauthor of the Wicked Dead series), turns out a horror novel that borrows heavily from genre conventions—and adds a cultural allusion that is obvious to everyone but the characters. High school student Justin Moore throws a party in his fancy house in Winter, Colo., while his parents are away. Although he's hidden the breakables, along with an ancient box found by a construction crew working for his dad, the box is discovered, and übercruel Tess Ward opens it. A shimmering cloud emerges, almost instantly transforming Tess into a figure of pure evil and gradually changing the others into a maniacal mob. Of course, a blizzard then isolates Winter from the outside world, making its residents easy prey, and Tess's mob wreaks devastation before anyone realizes that the fateful box is identical to Pandora's. Reed tells more than shows, and even the gore isn't very gory (“His left cheek was swollen so bad, it looked like he had a lemon shoved in his mouth”). Don't look here for Pendleton-style chills. Ages 14–up. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 01/12/2009
Release date: 01/01/2009
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-06-197540-0
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-06-183968-9
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