The story begins with his mother taking him to stay with mysterious relatives living in a strange house in the middle of nowhere. Right from the start, something isn't right about the town. Children have disappeared, to be forgotten by everyone save a very few. Only one has ever returned, and he came back horribly disfigured and mute, apparently mentally retarded. Secrets abound, and for some reason, everyone - and everything - seems to focus upon one person: Jack.
This book contains examples of the following tropes:
- Action Girl: Wendy beats up local bully Avery on a regular basis (he deserves it, though).
- The Bully: Avery tries to be this, and is apparently usually successful. However, the one time he tries to pick on Jack, he gets beaten up (and then ignored) by Wendy.
- Deal with the Devil: The Avery family's deal with The Lady. The current Mr. Avery's attempts to get out of it are the cause of all the problems in the book.
- Invisible to Normals: No one notices Jack. This can have its advantages, though - he's never had to pay a bus fare in his life.
- Mother Nature: The Lady and The Other.
- Nature Spirit: The Lady and The Other.
- Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: Wendy is this to The Lady, who is currently not strong enough to steal her soul.
- You Can See Me?: Though he doesn't actually say it, Jack is very surprised when the local bully notices him.