Author: Kenneth Oppel
Genre: Middle Grade Paranormal
Publication Date: September 6th, 2022
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young
Thank you to the publisher and TBR and Beyond Tours for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.
“Rebecca Strand was just sixteen when she and her father fell to their deaths from the top of the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse in 1839. Just how they fell–or were they pushed?–remains a mystery. And their ghosts haunt the lighthouse to this day. . . .Gabe tells this story every day when he gives the ghost tour on Toronto Island. He tries to make it scary enough to satisfy the tourists, but he doesn’t actually believe in ghosts–until he finds himself face to face with Rebecca Strand.
The true story of her death is far more terrifying than any ghost tale Gabe has told. Rebecca reveals that her father was a member of the Order, a secret society devoted to protecting the world from “the wakeful and wicked dead”–malevolent spirits like Viker, the ghost responsible for their deaths. But the Order has disappeared, and Viker’s ghost is growing ever stronger. Now Gabe and his friends must find a way to stop Viker before they all become lost souls. . . .” (Goodreads)
I was born in Port Alberni, a mill town on Vancouver Island, British Columbia but spent the bulk of my childhood in Victoria, B.C. and on the opposite coast, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At around twelve I decided I wanted to be a writer. I started out writing sci-fi epics then went on to swords and sorcery tales and then, during the summer holiday when I was fourteen, started on a humorous story about a boy addicted to video games.
When I saw this cover I knew I needed to read the book! I love finding a new Middle Grade Spooky book to read and this one hit the spot.
The book is mainly told from one point-of-view and it comes from Gabe. Although, in the beginning the first chapter is from Rebecca’s and I like how this was done. Plus, there are chapters/pages where the evil spirit, Viker, is out doing what he does best and he is quite terrifying! We get her backstory and it really is the culminating event for the rest of the plot because without it, I don’t know if Gabe, and even Rebecca, would be where they are now.
Gabe is very hesitant when it comes to believing in ghosts. He may be a guide for a ghost tour but that doesn’t mean he actually believes what he is saying. It’s always nice to see a character be proven wrong on a stance they have and learn that is wrong through weird and spooky events happening to them. Rebecca really needed his help and she wasn’t going to go without trying everything in her power! They both work together as a team and two more kids also join the mix, one being another skeptic and the other a newly blogger who wants to solve the mystery of Rebecca and her father’s death. They all make a great group.
Sometimes it is hard to not compare one ghost story to another because it can feel like reading something familiar. I will say that this one didn’t give me that feeling at all. It felt refreshing and I liked the idea of an order of lighthouse workers vanquishing the dead! It was really cool to read about and I kind of wish it was a job. Although, I would probably regret it eventually, haha.
Overall, this was a fun read and I liked how there was more than one ghost with a story. It wasn’t overly spooky and there was a great group of kids working together to defeat the evil presence.