544 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 2 in
November 15, 2011
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1416991158
ISBN - 13: 9781416991151
About the Book
When 17-year-old Silas Umber's father disappears, Silas is sure it is connected to the powerful artifact he discovers, combined with his father's hidden hometown history, which compels Silas to pursue the path leading to his destiny and ultimately, to the discovery of his father, dead or alive.
Read from the Book
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 their little ritual. Father and son. Lie stitched to lie. An elaborate collection of details and variations to make the stories he told sound real, momentarily fascinating, but also common and forgettable. Corpses and coffins, chemical order forms, and a dark pin-striped suit. So many details it almost held together if no one pulled at too many threads. No matter that his son assumed that “Undertaker” meant “mortician.” No matter that in the Umber family an Undertaker was something else entirely. Amos hated lying to his son, but he had made a promise to his wife. He’d sworn not to say anything about the Undertaken, or Wanderers, or the Restless. He’d sworn not to talk to Silas about his side of the family or the family business in Lichport, where they all once lived together briefly when Silas was a baby. Most of what he told his son was a lie, but not all of it. No matter how man
From the Publisher
They say the dead should rest in peace. Not all the dead agree.
One night, Silas Umber's father Amos doesn’t come home from work. Devastated, Silas learns that his father was no mere mortician but an Undertaker, charged with bringing The Peace to the dead trapped in the Shadowlands, the states of limbo binding spirits to earth. With Amos gone, Silas and his mother have no choice but to return to Lichport, the crumbling seaside town where Silas was born, and move in with Amos’s brother, Charles.
Even as Silas eagerly explores his father’s town and its many abandoned streets and overgrown cemeteries, he grows increasingly wary of his uncle. There is something not quite right going on in Charles Umber’s ornate, museum-like house—something, Silas is sure, that is connected to his father’s disappearance. When Silas’s search leads him to his father’s old office, he comes across a powerful artifact: the Death Watch, a four hundred year old Hadean clock 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—no matter the cost.
"Every now and then a book comes along that breaks the mold of everything that has gone before. Death Watch is such a book. At once a profound and moving meditation on death, and an extraordinary edge-of-the-seat adventure, it is one of the most original and powerful novels I have read in my lifetime." — John Matthews, New York Times bestselling author of Pirates and Arthur of Albion