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Death Watch

Death Watch

For Ages: 12 and up
They say the dead should rest in peace. Not all the dead agree. This start to The Undertaken trilogy is a “thought-provoking gothic fantasy” and a “genuinely eerie tale” (Publishers Weekly).

When Silas Umber’s father, Amos, doesn’t come home from work one night, Silas discovers that his father was no mere mortician, but an Undertaker who worked to bring The Peace to lost and wandering souls. With Amos gone, Silas and his mother move back to Lichport, the crumbling seaside town where he was born, and Silas seizes the opportunity to investigate his father’s disappearance.
     When his search leads him to his father’s old office, he comes across a powerful artifact: the Death Watch, a tool that allows the owner to see the dead. Death Watch in hand, Silas begins to unearth Lichport’s secret history—and discovers that he has taken on his father’s mantle as Lichport’s Undertaker. Now, Silas must embark on a dangerous path into the Shadowlands to embrace his destiny and discover the truth about his father—even if it kills him.
     Critically acclaimed folklorist Ari Berk explores the worlds of the living and the dead, and the relationships between parents and children in an novel steeped in lore, mystery, and magic.
Choose a format:
  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | 
  • 544 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442436039 | 
  • November 2011 | 
  • Grades 7 and up
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Read an Excerpt

HE SHOULD HAVE GONE HOME.

It was after eleven, so he’d have been home already. Arguing with his wife. Lying to his son about work and the hours of his work and the kind of work he said he did back in Lichport.

Amos Umber’s lies had become habitual. He would invent something about the corpse to tell his son. That’s what Silas always wanted to know. The grisly details. What happened to them? How did they die? What did it take to put all the pieces back in place? How did he treat the flesh so the family wouldn’t be reminded there was anything other than sleep waiting for them at the end of days?

It was... see more

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About the Author

Ari Berk
Photograph by K. McDermott

Ari Berk

Ari Berk is the author of the Undertaken trilogy and Nightsong, illustrated by Loren Long. He works in a library filled to the ceiling with thousands of arcane books and more than a few wondrous artifacts. When not writing, he moonlights as professor of mythology and folklore at Central Michigan University. He lives in Michigan with his wife and son. Visit him at AriBerk.com.

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