I only count 12 or way more than 13.
When Luke Manchett's estranged father dies suddenly, he leaves his
son a dark inheritance. Luke has been left in charge of his father's
ghost collection: eight restless spirits. They want revenge for their
long enslavement, and in the absence of the father, they're more than
happy to take his son. It isn't fair, but you try and reason with the
Halloween, the night when the ghosts reach the height of their power,
is fast approaching. With the help of school witchlet Elza Moss, and his
cowardly dog Ham, Luke has just thirteen days to uncover the closely
guarded secrets of black magic, and send the unquiet spirits to their
eternal rest. The alternative doesn't bear thinking about.
This is the story of how Luke's dad is terrible person and father. That's about it, but also Ghosts.
I liked the structure of this book with being first-person, point of view Luke obviously. It also chapter by the days (mostly) and that works well with the deadline nature of the story.
The romance is cliché and therefore annoying. It's mainly because I'm overaware of romances as I don't like them that much and question whether they were necessary and in most YA they are not. Friendships are undervalued and none of the the relationships in this book are that great. The supporting characters are completely indispensable which is a really bad thing in horror. Luke is meant to have known these people for years and be best friends with some of them but it's more like "we can't just let them get hurt out of moral obligation" than "I love these people, what would I do without them".
My favourite character was the dog. Elza had her moments, not sure why she had to dress all in black because she sees ghost though. Luke generally did his job as the protagonist and because I'm heartless creature I did not care about any of the characters except the three animals featured. I might have knocked points off for one of those animal's fates because it was a cheap move.
This novel does have some cool world stuff and I was intrigued by the ghosts and the magic talked about. However, that can't carry a book like this, especially as some of that is not unique to this book and did feature a perpendicular cliché. Also there these cool illustrations that have been part of the marketing of this book, maybe would have severed it better, being part of the actual book.
Funfact: Luke goes to bed fully dressed. Wakes up In PJs. Did the ghost change him without noticing?
The ending was bit unsatisfying and is basically just a set-up for a sequel. It felt rushed, we have
this deadline and then it's blown through it.
I gave this three out of five stars for ghost stones. This was interesting concept, though not that original, lacks some creativity and had typical cliches. If the sequel does come out, I probably won't read it (but I did). Even with everything that's left up in the air, I don't care enough to make an effect to find out more. The fates might throw it at me, so I might read it then as this was enjoyable read. I'm just really nit-picky.
I got this off NetGalley for review and is being published by Orchard Books.