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