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Honour Among Ghosts by Sean Williams

Honour Among Ghosts is the new book from Sean WIlliams that follows on from the success of the classic Her Perilous Mansion. Williams is a multi award winning author as well as a New York Times bestseller in a range of genres and ages. Now with these two books he is taking the YA genre by storm.

In this hilarious novel, the narrative is the case of a crime with ideas of sabotage and deception. The central character Penny works her magic to try and free her father whom she believes has been the victim of a set up.

In the world of magic and detective work, Penny must establish some kind of motive and possible reason for the mishandling of justice - and the results are both page-turning and exciting. Despite the size of the novel it is an easy read and perfect for Christmas presents for those hard to please young readers who are looking for something fun and exciting.

It’s clever. That’s the thing that you keep coming back to as you work your way through the text. The way that the events unravel and the detective story becomes central, it really is a clever way to explore the ideas and concepts that come through. The value of family, the misrepresentation of facts, and a misadventure in the world of justice.

Throughout the narrative, it is the wonderful exploration of friendships and characters that really captivate young readers. Certainly when reading this to an eight year old, it was this aspect that drew her attention. The way that they interact is believable and, as mentioned, funny. It has to be said that this is one of those funny books that give the reader real laughs. Not the chuckle or wry smile, but actually funny sequences that are really effective for the audience.

The dialogue is superb, and the progression is effective. It’s easy to see how Williams has established himself as such a notable writer across so many different disciplines. Certainly the way that Williams incorporates the mysterious detective is a masterclass in description and character development.

Overall, the YA genre is full of magical characters and experiences and setting for younger readers, and now there is one more. Williams shows himself to be a classic writer among quality texts for young people (or those who remain young at heart!) A really engaging and thoroughly exciting novel!

Reviewer: Chris Reed

Allen & Unwin


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