By: Andrew Prentice
Published on: August 13, 2019
I am such a sucker for interesting and eye-catching covers. If you’ve ever seen the movie Darby O’Gill and the Little People with Sean Connery and Janet Munro there’s a scene where Darby almost gets taken away by Death in a very creepy carriage. That is exactly what this cover reminds me of – that creepy Death carriage.
In Ghost and Bone, Oscar Grimstone’s mom runs a funeral home, but that part doesn’t bother Oscar because he feels right at home there. One day, strange things start happening there (silvery fog out of nowhere, knives floating in mid air that immediately fly at Oscar). Oscar is in a fight for his life that he is losing until… Well, he becomes a ghost. He didn’t die, he just changed for that moment, escaped, and then soon after changed back. No one is more shocked than Oscar.
Later that night, two members of Ghost Law Enforcement (GLE) arrive at Oscar’s house in order to investigate the incident and much to their surprise, Oscar can see and talk to them. When they get ready to leave, Oscar is determined to go back with them and so using his new found ability he decides to turn into a ghost and hitch a ride on their carriage. The investigators now have questions of their own about why and how a human can change back and forth and agree to let him come, which leads into more questions and more mysteries needing to be solved.
Ghost and Bone is a hauntingly good book and was a complete blast to read. It was creative, and inventive and relaxing. A book that immediately pulled me in (it starts in a funeral home with Oscar working on a deceased client) and once I started, I couldn’t put it down. The pacing and plot development was very nicely done – always something around the corner to keep me engaged that also included very likeable characters of Oscar and Sally (one of the GLE investigators who happens to look like a 13 year old girl but also happens to be over a hundred years old.)
Even though most of the book occurs in a ghost city and the subject is about a boy who can turn into a ghost it is definitely more of a book that leans to the fun side of spooky instead of the dark side of spooky.
Rating: 5 stars
A twisty middle grade adventure standalone for fans of Neil Gaiman and Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow about a cursed boy who embarks on a journey into a magical city of ghosts to find out who he really is.
Oscar Grimstone is a normal kid—aside from his secret Curse. Whenever he touches something living, like a flower or his classroom goldfish, they always seem to die. But then Oscar discovers an even bigger secret: even though he is very much alive, he has the ability to transform into a ghost.
Just when he thinks things can’t get any stranger two ghosts show up at his home in a skeleton carriage and he winds up joining them on a journey beyond the real world to a place he never knew existed—the city of ghosts. There Oscar will discover a place where people go once they die, before they aboard a ship to the The Other Side. But will he find out who he really is?