AD • I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review however all opinions are entirely my own.
Happy Friday to my favourite ghosties, spooks and PSL-lovers! Today’s review is one for all my fellow spooky season fanatics. It has ghosts, a teen who can talk to the dead, magic, monsters and missing children. Does that tick any boxes for you? Yes? Well then, read on for all the deets. The book I’m talking about is, of course, The Library of the Dead by T.L. Huchu.
When ghosts talk, she will listen . . .
Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker – and she now speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children – leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honour bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.
She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan . . .) as she calls on Zimbabwean magic and Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets. And in the process, she discovers an occult library and some unexpected allies. Yet as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?
Sometimes when you open a book and start to read, you just KNOW you’ll love that book. That was my experience with The Library of the Dead. It’s phenomenal. If you’re into urban fantasy with strong paranormal elements then you NEED to pick up this book ASAP.
Huchu brings to the table a very interesting setting. This Edinburgh exists after a time of political unrest so it’s a bit dystopian. Crime is rife and while there is a police presence, they’re definitely NOT there to serve and protect. In many ways, it felt like a step backwards and it wasn’t until Ropa would listen to a podcast that I’d be reminded that this isn’t set in the past.
Ropa was a fantastic lead. She’s a spunky young woman with incredibly strong wills. Her family means everything to her and her main priority is keeping them safe and financially secure. It’s really easy to root for her.
Another thing that stood out was that this is a real genre-bend. It’s fantasy with strong dystopian vibes but it also has a mystery at the heart of it and a healthy helping of horror elements too. It’s the perfect combination of everything I love – including a fun and dynamic but equally human and vulnerable cast of characters, a pinch of magic, a LIBRARY and a deeply compelling story. Overall, I think this book and series will appeal to a very wide range of readers.
I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series, Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments, which sounds equally amazing. Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments is out in March 2022 but you can pick up The Library of the Dead immediately and I strongly recommend that you do because it’s so good.
Will you be bumping this one to the top of your TBR pile? Let me know in the comments below!