The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
Books for Young Readers by Sarah Cassidy
Perhaps you’ve heard of a phenomenon in Internet literature: the creepypasta. (Pronounced pay-stah, because they are so often copied and pasted). Yes, its name is silly, but creepypastas are developing momentum on blogs the world over. A creepypasta is a tale meant to chill blood and have you question what is real and what is in the psyche. Some are junk, others are astoundingly well written. Kenneth Oppel has taken the spirit of a creepypasta and put it into a fabulous novel for young readers, The Nest. A word of warning: The Nest is not for the faint of heart. Into my mid-twenties, I found myself creeped out a time or two. That is because The Nest is good horror, entertaining and smart.
Steven is the eldest of three children. His youngest brother is still an infant and is affected by some congenital disorder. There’s little doubt that, should he survive infancy, the little one won’t be a normally-functioning adult.
Steven dreams of angels who promise that they will “fix” his baby brother, but Steven’s dreams become increasingly unsettling. What begins as a hopeful dream of a perfect family morphs into a sinister plan: the angels will create the baby anew and dispose of the old one. Naturally, Steven objects, and the novel cumulates in a battle for the fate of the sickly infant.
What is so terrific about The Nest is its ability to fiddle with your emotions. As a fan of the horror genre, I felt that this had the desirable quality of gripping with each word through good storytelling. I would recommend it to any adult who enjoys Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Justin Cronin, etc. as a quick and entertaining read. The Nest may just be the perfect pick for reluctant readers, especially teenage boys, because it is so engrossing.