Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book News: The Inn Between

Publish June 2, 2016

In Marina Cohen’s The Inn Between, eleven-year-olds Quinn Martin and Kara Cawston have been best friends since kindergarten. When the Cawstons move from Colorado to California, Quinn agrees to accompany the family for one last adventure, travelling cross-country to the Cawston’s new home. In the middle of Nevada, the travellers stumble upon the Inn Between, a quaint Victorian hotel with quirky staff, a suspicious lack of technology and the best pizza Quinn has ever tasted. But all is not as it seems at the Inn. Kara’s parents disappear, followed soon after by her brother. Quinn is haunted by painful memories of her own missing sister, and the girls become desperate to find answers, certain that the mysterious Inn Between is somehow connected to Quinn’s tragic past. In an eerie limbo-world where the natural and the supernatural are inextricably intertwined, Kara and Quinn might have to choose between their friendship or survival. A skillful blend of fantasy and horror, The Inn Between is an entertaining puzzle that will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman and Rick Riordan. Artful foreshadowing and a stunning dénouement call for an instant reread, and intricate plotting ties various story threads into a tidy resolution. A delightfully creepy locale and fantastically caricatured characters provide nice counterbalance to the darker themes throughout the novel. While Cohen’s vividly imagined hell may cause a few sleepless nights, her touching riff on the powerful bonds of childhood friendship will tug at the heartstrings of young and old alike.

The Inn Between

Marina Cohen
Roaring Book Press
ISBN 13: 978-1-62672-202-6

Karen Doerksen
Karen Doerksen Karen Doerksen lives in Sherwood Park, Alberta with her husband and four children. She works for the Edmonton Public Library, and holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Alberta.  

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