When Arthur was twelve his Mum died in slightly strange circumstances. Now, fourteen years later, Arthur and his Dad Harry are still in the same house living a somewhat miserable life. Harry seems to be losing his grip on reality and sinking into alcoholism and Arthur is working a job he hates in a call centre wondering if there is more to life. There are changes afoot though. Arthur and his friends have noticed some strange things happening recently. Arthur has the feeling that something is going to happen but he has no idea what it could be.
The strongest element of this book, for me, was the characters. They felt very realistic and we got to know them well. They had their quirks and their problems and in many ways I felt I could relate to them. There were several times throughout the book that I wanted to give Arthur a big hug and tell him that everything would be alright. Even if nothing much had actually happened in this book I would still have enjoyed it because of the characters.
The plot was a bit of a slow burner. We know that something is going to happen but are not sure what. The story builds slowly but steadily towards the big finish. To be honest I’m not sure what to make of the thing that happens. It’s very odd but interesting (and it did leave me thinking about it afterwards) but as I said before it was the characters that made this book for me.
The Thing on the Shore was the first Tom Fletcher book I have read but it certainly won’t be the last. I really liked his style of writing and will look forward to reading more of his work in future.