Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Graveyard Shift by Chris Westwood

Graveyard Shift
by Chris Westwood
Scholastic Press
ISBN: 978-0-545-39919-7
Suggested Ages: 9+
Buy from Indigo

Description: A spooky fantasy-adventure in which death is only the beginning!

When Ben Harvester meets the mysterious Mr. October in London's Highgate Cemetery, he has no idea what a strange and dramatic turn his life is about to take. But Ben soon discovers that Mr. October works for the Ministry of Pandemonium, a secret organization responsible for tracking down lost souls and guiding them to the afterlife. And Mr. October wants him to be his new recruit.

As Ben's apprenticeship begins, his eyes are opened to a new world of wonder -- a world where magic is real and ghosts haunt every crime scene, accident site, and hospital corridor.

But with the wonder comes horror. Because the Ministry is not the only organization hunting spirits of the dead. The ghoulish Lords of Sundown want those spirits for their own sinister reasons. And as far as they're concerned, Ben's just chosen the wrong side in a very dangerous war.

Ill-mannered spooks and fearsome monsters populate the alternative London of this charming paranormal adventure!

The Good Stuff
  • Delightfully dark and funny - written perfectly for boys/girls in middle school
  • Intriguing characters - how can you not love Ben, Becky, Mr October and Lu
  • Reminded me a little at times of the tv show Dead Like Me (Excellent show btw, go get yourself a copy of it
  • Love the unusual and original storyline - very creative
  • Honestly this might make an interesting series - not sure if there are plans for it, but it might be interesting
  • Very wise commentary about life and death
  • Mr October is such an intriguing character, would have loved to have more back story information on him
  • Author fabulous at setting the mood of the story - I was hooked on the dark forboding feeling I felt the entire time I read - might be a lights on sorta night
  • I know I shouldn't have laughed, but the part about the fiance mailing himself to his intended made me giggle (Yes I do have a dark sense of humour thank you very much)
  • The scenes between Mr October and Ben are worth the price of the book alone -- not to mention how utterly adorablel the conversations between Becky and Ben
The Not So Good Stuff
  • A wee bit predictable for the older reader
  • Could have benefitted from a wee bit more editiing -- things just felt a litte off at times (Also could be me -- but hey have to be honest)
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Everyone goes eventually," Mum said. "When they do, the timing never seems right. It always seems to soon.'

"Sorry, son, but after so long in the field, one's sense of humour does tend toward the morbid. But of course you're smart to question, and there's always a third choice, which is to do nothing at all. But then you'd always know what you're missing - and you'd never take advantage of your natural gift."

"But it's better to know the worst than to live in the dark, none the wiser.'

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • For the more mature middle school reader - though less mature readers could still get something out of it
  • Middle school readers who like their stories a wee bit on the dark and different will lap this up - would have loved this when I was that age
4 Dewey's

I picked up a copy of this from Book Expo America 2012

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