No Way Out, by Dan Poblocki

ella_meghan's review

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dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes


thebibliophilegirl's review

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This has got to be the fastest, most interesting, creepiest middle-grade trilogy that I have ever read. No Way Out in the third and final book in the Shadow House trilogy and it DID NO PACK ANY PUNCHES! When are these kids going to get a break? They've been through so much and I just want to give them a big hug...

Poppy, Dash, Azumi, and Dylan may have made it out of Shadow House--but the grounds are a whole new nightmare. Someone they thought was a friend is hunting them, and there's no place that's safe now that they've woken the shadow creature.

If they want to survive, they'll have to figure out once and for all what the house wants from them, and what-or who-they'll need to leave behind in order to escape . . . or risk being trapped within Shadow House forever.

I think I read this in an hour. By no means does that signify that this is a simple book and is 'too young' for young adult/adult readers. As I have stated in my reviews for book one and book two, Poblocki is a fantastic writer, and the way that he tells the story of the five main characters and the house means that any age group can read it, from middle-grade individuals to adults. It's a series that will entertain anyone and everyone. The simplistic language style and the eleven-year-old main characters will appeal to the younger audience, whereas the horror/thriller element of the book will appeal to the older readers. However, the horror aspect of the book is still creepy, but not TOO creepy so that younger children cannot read it. I hope that makes sense!

After the explosive ending of the second book, You Can't Hide, we follow now only three of the characters that we started out with. The only reason that I haven't given this book a 5-star rating is because of how Dash and Azumi treat Poppy. Poppy is the only character to every TRY and put aside her fears and try and get them out of the house and out of the grounds - even if it leads into danger, she doesn't give up, SHE KEEPS ON TRYING. Dash and Azumi don't do this. They're close to giving up, and they're always moaning. And then, they start being horrible to Poppy because every time she makes a decision, it leads them to danger. I can't believe they actually have a right to be horrible to her! She's the only one that's making decisions! SOMEONE HAS TO TAKE CONTROL! It was just really annoying how they would gang up on Poppy, but that's the only thing that really got to me about this book. Other than that, it was like the previous two: fast-paced, scary and a quick read.

I do think that this is the least scary one out of the three, but that doesn't mean that it's not creepy. There are clowns. And clowns are my worst nightmare. There's also a picture in the book of three clowns and I wanted to tear it out and throw it on the fire. Believe me when I say that I read that page VERY VERY quickly. Both books one and two were set in the house, but book three is set in the grounds of the Shadow House, which means they have to navigate around the forest that surrounds the house, and they also get lost on different paths and in a carnival (?)

Overall, this is a brilliant ending to a brilliant trilogy. I loved all of the characters, I loved the ending to No Way Out, I loved the aesthetic of the three books (grey pages that look like they've been burnt and also pictures to accompany the story), and I also like how the publishing company have done something quite different and made an app that you can play alongside reading the books. It's an app where the choices you make throughout the game, affect what happens. You also learn background information about some of the secondary characters which is really interesting. I only played the app whilst reading the first book, but in the near future, I think I'm going to go back and play the game for the second and third book as well.

If you're a middle-grade reader, a young adult or adult reader, then I highly recommend this book if you're looking for a quick, frightening read!