Thirteen Days of Midnight by Leo Hunt
|Thirteen Days of Midnight by Leo Hunt|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Darkly funny and jolly creepy paranormal story. YOU try and reason with the vengeful dead! Great debut that will be enjoyed by all fans of the genre.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 384||Date: July 2015|
|External links: Author's website|
Longlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2016
Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2016: Older Fiction
Luke Manchett really isn't that upset when he gets the news that his father has died. You might think that's a tad harsh, but Luke has been estranged from his father for years. His primary concern is his mother, who is disabled by crushing cluster headaches. So, rather than worry her, Luke heads off to a lawyer's office to deal with the reading of his father's will by himself. And he gets a shock. Luke's inheritance adds up to six million dollars. SIX MILLION!
Such is his excitement, Luke doesn't find anything peculiar in the fact that some of the papers he needs to sign are written in Latin on goatskin. He barely registers the lawyer droning on about some extra conditions that will need to be satisfied before he actually gets the money. He just signs his acceptance of the deal.
Oops! What Luke doesn't know is that his father was a powerful necromancer and that part of the bequest to Luke is his father's host - a collection of eight ghosts who were bound to him. These ghosts aren't too happy about the years they have spent in slavery and are out for revenge. And they're powerful, too, especially at Halloween, which is just thirteen days away. Without a strong necromancer to control them, they could do a lot of damge: to Luke, to his ill mother, and to hapless passers-by.
Can Luke stop them? It's a tall order. And he'll need to enlist the aid of Eliza, the weirdest girl at school. Cos - who woulda thunk it? - she has second sight. Together, they have just thirteen days to save themselves and the rest of the world, too...
Ha. Woohoo! Hooray! I really loved this story. It's genuinely creepy at times and it has the great pace of an exciting thriller. Luke and Eliza - together with family pet dog, Ham - make a great team, even though they are very different characters. Luke is a typical sporty teenage boy - he loves rugby, lusts after the girls all the other boys lust after and all that other boy-to-man stuff, but he also genuinely cares for his disabled mother. Eliza is your typical outsider geek. Shes got a sharp tongue that she's not at all afraid to deploy. I did like Eliza!
But the real joy comes in the dark humour and in the supporting cast of the host. I won't say too much for fear of spoiling the laughs for you when they come, but there are some fabulous characters there. My favourite is Judge, a skinhead in a gingham shirt. He is FUNNY. But if you want the rest, I think you should meet them first on the page.
Thirteen Days of Midnight is a great debut. It's confident and enthusiastic in its storytelling and the first person, present tense telling gives it a real sense of immediacy. It has relatable central characters and an entertaining supporting cast. It's chilling at times and funny at others. Great stuff, and I recommend it.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Thirteen Days of Midnight by Leo Hunt at Amazon.com.
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