Kissing the girl he’d loved from afar for ages is the best moment of Will’s life – unfortunately, it’s not far off being the last one. Racing to break the good news to his friend Dougie, he’s involved by an accident and finds himself a ghost. Somehow, Dougie is able to see him, and after an initial panic that he may be going mad or need an exorcist, Will’s best friend is persuaded to try and help him move on. Neither of them is quite sure what that will involve, until they meet another ghost – a murdered schoolgirl who’s spent half a century or so haunting a seriously scary house. Can the boys solve her mystery?
This comic chiller is a huge departure in style from the epic fantasy of Curtis Jobling’s excellent Wereworld series. It’s aimed at slightly younger readers but there’s enough humour and excitement here to have something for everyone, and I loved the strength of the central friendship between Will and Dougie. There’s some incredibly funny parts here – the highlight probably being Dougie trying to run a séance with an older pupil nicknamed Bloody Mary, which made me laugh out loud. However it’s also surprisingly tense, at least towards the end, with the dynamic duo trying to solve the mystery of their new friend’s death. I worked out the solution to this one surprisingly quickly, but it certainly didn’t stop me enjoying the action as the pair faced off against a seriously evil villain.
It’s a quick, engaging and easy book to read – Will has a very strong voice and the other characters are fleshed out well. In addition to Dougie, they have several other friends who can’t see Will – and rather doubt Dougie’s sanity – but the group dynamic between them works excellently. Of the adult characters, it’s the local vicar, father to one of their friends, who particularly stands out as good, although I’m hoping we’ll find out more about Will’s family in the upcoming sequel.
A fun and pacy read, definitely recommended.
The trailer for Haunt, which is fabulous, can be viewed here!