The Stars Did Wander Darkling

Colin Meloy

The Stars Did Wander Darkling
Walker Books Australia
4 January 2023

The Stars Did Wander Darkling

Colin Meloy

A suspenseful and atmospheric horror perfect for younger fans of Stranger Things and Neil Gaiman, from New York Times bestselling author and the Decemberists’ lead singer/songwriter Colin Meloy.

Maybe Archie Coomes has been watching too many horror movies. All of a sudden, the most ordinary things have taken on a sinister edge: a penny on a doormat. A man in a brown suit under a streetlamp. The persistent sound of an axe chopping in the middle of the night. He keeps telling himself that this is Seaham, a sleepy seaside town where nothing ever happens. Or at least nothing did, until his dad’s construction company opened up the cliff beneath the old - some say cursed - Langdon place.

Soon, though, he and his friends can’t deny it: more and more of the adults in town are acting strangely. An ancient, long-buried evil has been unleashed upon the community, and it’s up to the kids to stop it before it’s too late …


The new book by Colin Meloy, The Decemberists frontman and author of the Wildwood novels, is a supernatural horror story for middle grade readers.

Something is going on at the building site Archie’s dad manages. The old Langdon house is being developed, but rumour has it the construction crew found something very weird when they were digging in the area. No one will tell them anything, so of course Archie and his friends are compelled to investigate. They also notice the behaviour of some residents in their sleepy town is alarming; a trio of creepy newcomers have been spotted lurking, parents are acting (and smelling!) even weirder than usual, and Archie’s friend Oliver has been having increasingly scary visions.

As the kids try to figure out exactly what is going on, Archie and his crew hang out at the local video shop where they are guided by old movies and the local historical knowledge of the proprietor. Set in a misty Oregon during the 1980s, fans of Stranger Things will definitely enjoy this. There are some big similarities, sure, but rest assured this is a unique book – and the ending also leaves room for a sequel, so here’s hoping! A well-written, fun and scary read for ages 9+.

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