Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Nearly Departed by Rook Hastings

Review copy: HarperCollins Children's Books, Published 4 Feb

"I've seen a ghost," said Emily. "Well, not seen one exactly. Heard one. At least, I think I have!" Everything has a rational explanation. Unless it doesn't. Welcome to Weirdsville... Woodsville is not like other towns. Night falls a little earlier there, the shadows are darker and denser, and everyone knows it's a place where strange things happen. Even if they won't admit it. Bethan would prefer to be anywhere but here. Jay has his theories, but isn't ready to share. Hashim sees more than he'll say, while Kelly's demons are all too flesh and blood. But Emily's freak-out brings them out of denial and face to face with the supernatural. Anywhere else, Friday night would be date night. But not in Weirdsville!

I love ghost stories so I was really looking forward to reading this one. It did take a while to grab me but once it did I really enjoyed it. It was very quick, easy to read and even though I usually prefer first person narrative I really liked how it was written in third person as we got to spend time with each of the characters. They were the highlight for me and were where the story really came into itself. There were some great interactions between all the characters and their banter provided some really funny moments.

I also enjoyed the world of ‘Weirdsville’ – lots of supernatural creepiness that kept me interested in the mystery. How scary it is I can’t tell you – unfortunately I have a high threshold when it comes to horror stories, but there were some really good twists and turns I didn’t see coming!

The ending was great and set up the next in the series well. Overall I enjoyed it. In places it did read as if aimed at a younger audience but the content seemed more suited to an older readership. Some may be slightly put off because of this but, for me, the banter and character interactions, as well as the strength of the mystery more than made up for it. I am looking forward to the next instalment of what promises to be a fun and creepy series.

16 comments:

Lauren said...

Great review, you've covered all the essentials and made me feel even more excited to read this! I'm a big scaredy cat so I think somehow I'm going to be spooked by this one. Weirdsville sounds like an interesting place.

Elie said...

What a cool cover. This sounds good, but I am a WIMP, so I wonder if it will scare the cookies out of me. Thanks for the review.

Luisa at Chicklish said...

Thanks for a great review! It sounds like a really spooky and fun book.

Book Crazy Jenn said...

Awesome review - I REALLY want to read this one...

Girl on a Mission said...

Thanks for sharing! I've never heard of this one actually. I'll have to check it out.

Becky said...

It is awesome to be able to read a review of this. I'm still very nervous about reading it myself. I am such a wimp. The scariness of Vampire Diaries is as far as I go. I'm surprised even that doesn't give me nightmares (Lost and Flash Forward do!). Great to hear that the relationship between the characters really made the book. That reassures me that I might just be brave enough. Great review!

Melissa said...

Brilliant review! I've heard a lot about this, and I really think I'd love it. It sounds like Supernatural...in a book...my favourite :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great review. I love this powerful cover!

prophecygirl said...

It sounds great, and I'm glad the characters are good. Looking forward to it, and thanks for the review!

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

Glad you enjoyed it as I'm really looking forward to this. Thanks for a greta review, Sammee!

YA Vampire Books said...

Wow, what a great cover! It's kind of scary... Great review, also :)

Sarah said...

Great review Sammee, I really enjoyed this one :o) I've added your link to my review
http://bookreviewsbysarah.blogspot.com/2010/02/review-nearly-departed-rook-hastings.html

Luisa at Chicklish said...

Hey Sammee, I hope you don't mind if I ask this... Do you think the content is more 13+ than 11+? I know that's a difficult question to answer, but I was about to recommend it to an 11-year-old horror fan and I hesitated. She loves Chris Priestley, if that helps at all.

I Want To Read That said...

Luisa - Of course I dont mind:) Horror wise I think it would be fine for 11+ but there is a storyline involving Kelly's character (small spoilers here but they are explained in the first few chapters so won't ruin anything) - it is implied she is scared of her father because he 'uses his fists first', her brother is in jail for the attempted murder of a gang member and the lead member of that gang is after Kelly to make an example of her in retribution for what her brother did - it plays a key part in the story and I thought it felt quite menacing...so I guess it really depends on the 11 year old but if I was at work I'd shelf it in the 13+ section purely because of that part of the story. I hope that helps:)

Luisa at Chicklish said...

Oh, that's really interesting. Thank you very much - that helps loads! I really appreciate it. :)

Tishylou said...

I am 3/4 of the way through this book and I LOVE it! I have been an avid horror reader sice the age of 12 (I'm now 32) when I started with Stephen King. This compares to the old style of SK novels. Although aimed at teens, this is far scarier and much more entertaining than the RL Stine and Goosebumps books I used to read. Fabulous plot, loveable characters and a setting even I would be creeped out by! Read it!

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