River Heights Book Review

The books you'll want to read.


13Days13 DAYS OF MIDNIGHT  by Leo Hunt
Candlewick Press
August 25, 2015

Luke Manchett has just received the worst kind of news—his estranged father is dead. Rather than tell his mother who is chronically sick, Luke heads to the lawyer’s office himself. The papers Luke has to sign for his inheritance all seem in order….except the one written in Latin on goatskin. What Luke doesn’t know is that his father was a powerful necromancer…and had a host of 8 spirits bound to him, which are now passed on to Luke, along with a mysterious book and a ring. The spirits themselves are powerful and more than a few of them are mighty angry and looking for revenge for their life of servitude. Without a necromancer who knows how to control them, it looks like they might get just that, with more than a few dead bystanders thrown in for good measure. The only person Luke can turn to is the weird goth chick Elza that everyone in school avoids. Elza can see spirits too. Together they only have 13 days before Halloween—when the dead will be at their most powerful—to figure out how to read the mysterious locked book, control the murderous spirits, and stop life as they know it from coming to an end.

13 DAYS OF MIDNIGHT is set in the charming English countryside, while contrasts wildly with the evil spirits and dark magic that propel the narrative. It’s darkly funny—I found myself chuckling aloud at lines such as “I refused to be antagonized by people who can’t move on from the youth culture of thirty years ago,” when Luke meets a (dead) skinhead on a bus. But for all the dry and amusing observations, this is still a dark and anxious read. Luke is a 16-year-old kid trying to play rugby and get with the hottest girl in school—simple aspirations for a teenage boy, really. When he’s suddenly saddled with angry spirits he can’t control, a mother who’s sick and a new friend that he doesn’t really want to be seen with…not to mention the fate of his small town balancing in his hands, he handles it with the proper amount of disbelief and blundering. Which is a large part of what makes Luke a protagonist you can’t help but cheer for.



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This entry was posted on June 18, 2015 by in Horror, Reviews, YA and tagged , , , .
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