The Girl, the Ghost and the Lost Name by Reece Carter

Published by Usborne, 2022.

I was utterly absorbed by this gripping and hugely entertaining debut. This spooky tale is published in the UK today and its release is perfectly timed to coincide with the darkening nights and the approach of Halloween. The book is written as a pacy and engaging first person narrative from the point of view of Corpse, a ghost who has given her formless body shape with wax, adding features made from seaweed and shells.

Corpse never asked to be a child ghost. She doesn’t remember anything from her life – all she knows is her life since death: her home on the rock-that-doesn’t-exist, her friend Simon the spider, and the vile Witches (whose magic she shares without them knowing).

So when she discovers that there’s a powerful treasure, which could give her all the answers to what she’s lost (her memories, her family and her name), Corpse sets off to find it. On her journey across the stormy sea, she must battle magic, sea monsters and a cruel figure from her past. But the Witches want the treasure too. And they’ll do anything to get it first.

I absolutely loved the vivid sense of place: from the unusual rock-that-doesn’t-exist to the sinister, rundown town of Elston-Fright. These fully realised settings transported me into Corpse’s world and swept me along with the story. The tremendous cast of non-human characters really came alive on the page too. I especially enjoyed the three Witches – deliciously wicked and conniving.

This is a wonderfully dark adventure which blends magic, menace and malevolence while still making room for plenty of humour and heart.

Rating: 💙💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 8+

Thank you to Usborne for sending me this book to review.

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