Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ghoulish Song by William Alexander...

Title- Ghoulish Song (Zombay book #2)
Author- William Alexander.
Publish date- February 2014.
Publisher- Constable and Robinson.
RRP: $14.99 AUD.

Review time...

(A brief) Synopsis:
Kaile is given a bone flute by a goblin and, when she plays it to calm herself and her anger at her whole family for being dreadful, it slices her shadow from her, a plucky individual who doesn't care for Kaile too much, and yet, if they're not attached, they may not survive.

What I thought:
Ghoulish Song is the sequel to Goblin Secrets, though I haven't read the first; the synopsis for it didn't really intrigue me, and as far as I could tell there wasn't a follow on of characters, so when I was most interested by Ghoulish Song I decided to read it.

This book is set in a world called Zombay, where things are dark yet can still be merry, where times can be tough but, if you try to hear it, there's still music. There were a lot of amazing things- creatures, mostly- mentioned, but they are so day to day in Zombay, it seems, that they don't really evolve into anything other than an unexplored possibility. So it became that the things I truly wanted to learn of were never covered and all I felt was frustrated at the potential that remained untouched.

That is what Ghoulish Song felt like all too often- like it hadn't reached it's potential.
From both the official synopsis and the cover I had imagined the story would go somewhere very different, and the version told here was a disappointment to me, because it felt very uninspired and, a lot of the time (particularly towards the end) like it was rushing towards the final page.

For all that, I did like some of the things that were explored, including the relationship between Kaile and her shadow, whom she names Shade. Shade gave an interesting perspective on Kaile- when, in the beginning, I had felt her anger and understood it, Shade points out how she's just not willing to take the blame for something she certainly had a hand in, and it gave me that different view, which I appreciated. We heard Kaile reasoning. Shade heard her actual words, which did have the unfortunate tendency to be quite whiney. She did evolve, Kaile, but it took a long while in this small book, and I can only hope she continues to evolve off the page.

Rating: Whatever comes between Poor and Oh nooo...
Overall I was mostly disappointed by Ghoulish Song. I felt quite let down by how it didn't take the steps to search more deeply about the creatures half-mentioned so many times, because those creatures... they sounded momentarily incredible.

Thank you to Murdoch Books for this review copy!


  1. Aww I'm sorry this sucked for you. I find it interesting that the shadow and the girl would be at odds with each other...is it because it's evil or just because the shadow is there to teach her to be a better person?

    1. That's something I found really interesting, too! The shadow is certainly not evil, it just... it's a different person who has always been dragged along and not noticed, and she sees things very clearly. I really enjoyed that perspective.

  2. Sounds like a really unique book Romi, I haven't heard of it before but the "Shade" character kind of reminds me of the one in Cruel Beauty (you should read that book!)

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    1. I'll look it up, thanks Jeann! Shade was probably my favourite character, because she saw things in a way that even the reader didn't immediately.

  3. It looks like a good book. It is a bummer you didn't love it though. The cover is very intriguing so I can see why you were so interested in it.

    1. Exactly! I am always falling in love with covers and they totally affect the reading experience for me. Strangely, the scene that the cover is based on happens really differently to how I imagined, and the cover, I realised after, shaped a huge amount of what I anticipated with this book but didn't get.


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