Thirteen Days of Midnight

Leo Hunt. Candlewick, $13 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7636-7865-4
Hunt’s gripping first novel introduces British 16-year-old Luke Manchett, who discovers that his late, estranged father was a necromancer and that he has left Luke millions of pounds in his will—as well as eight ghosts. This “Host”—its members include the “Judge,” a hulking skinhead punk, and the “Heretic,” a human skeleton engulfed by flames who screams prayers in Latin “at foghorn volume”—was bound to his father and is now bound to Luke. Theoretically, the Host must do whatever Luke orders, but some of the ghosts are deeply malevolent and just waiting for a chance to wrest control away from him, something that will require the deaths of both Luke and his disabled mother. Worse, Halloween is coming, when the Host is strongest. Aided by high school outcast Elza Moss, a sarcastic outsider with second sight, he must find a way to release the Host from their captivity while protecting himself and those he holds dear. With well-drawn characters, some truly creepy ghouls, and entertaining banter, this is a self-assured debut that’s as funny as it is terrifying. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jenny Savill, Andrew Nurnberg Associates. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/11/2015
Release date: 08/25/2015
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