Genre(s): YA, Paranormal
Length: 205 pages
How would you handle the dead? After losing his dad, 17 year old Marvin finds he can see and talk to the dead, an inherited ‘gift’. Bonus, you might think, but Marvin hates it. It makes him different and he just wants to be ‘normal’. He meets Stella in the graveyard that backs onto the house he’s just moved into. ‘My name is Stella, Stella McCartney. It says so inside my trousers.’ (!?!)
A mysterious business card reveals that Stella has lost her memories and all signs point to Moghador, a gateway to hell where a pawnbroker holds the answers. And Stella is DEAD! She just doesn’t know it… yet!
This was a very interesting read. I loved the plot, including the wee twist at the end. I’m a sucker for mundane-seeming objects or situations that turn out to have paranormal purposes—like a pawn shop you visit to forget your life. I was really engaged with the mystery of who Stella was, and it certainly kept me reading.
There were some aspects of the novel, however, that I didn’t overly enjoy. I found the author’s writing to be a bit clunky at times, though not necessarily bad. There were situations that were written quite well—the setting of Moghador, for example—but parts of the dialogue were lacking for me. I also didn’t really relate to the character of Marvin. He was a bit of brat, and right off the bat I was on Team Ghost. He did grow as a character though, so I began to like him a bit more as the book went on.
All in all, a solid and entertaining novel!