Review of Graveyard Shift in Ghost Town.
So what do you do, or rather, in my case, what do I do when I get a free book, generally, if I’m being honest, trying to be as nice as possible and also maybe being a little bit biased and giving it a solid four star rating when it might not actually have been. Oh also, generally an either very short or very long review. This might have been even more so the case going into this book when the author follows you on Twitter for some reason, but let me just say, this book by Australian author Michael Pryor was fantastically great. Now onwards into fighting some ghost, eh, I mean my review.
“I know in years to come I’ll be grateful for my youthful features, but at eighteen going on nineteen, getting mistaken for a kid is a pain in the bum. I’m grown-up dammit!”
That was just a little quote from the main character from some internal dialogue, which look, I probably did not get the best quote that is in the book, but let me say, the jesting from the main character, even inside his head is absolutely hilarious. More quotes to come later down this review so keep reading, please. No spoilers of course. To summarise, this is the second book in Pryor’s new series that centres on some teenagers who have been upgraded into adults and their journeys on fighting all sorts of ghosts and is set in Melbourne. So for those of you that live in Victoria, or even have been to Melbourne a few times will undoubtedly recognise a few places.
“ ‘You’ve got a cat.’
‘Well spotted,’ Bec said.
‘Of course,’ Rani said, squeezing her arm, ‘if he was well spotted he’d be a leopard. Not a cat, but pretty close.’ ”
There’s a lot of puns and jokes in this book. Anyway, one of the reasons that I so thoroughly enjoyed this book was that it is was frankly in Melbourne which is where I live so that’s always pretty cool. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t read a lot of books set in our world, let alone the twenty-first century, but when I do, such as reading say, Cassandra Clare’s YA, urban fantasy books, they are normally always set in cities in either, The United States or the United Kingdom, which makes sense, there’s a lot more appeal for people in those countries, like there is way more people there for people to pick up your book. That being said, it is so incredibly nice to see a book set in a place where you are familiar with as you feel a much stronger connection to the characters and setting. They totally should have gone ghost hunting at State Library Victoria, but being a musician, was more than happy when one of the setting was at Arts Centre Melbourne and the National Gallery of Victoria and also having the characters describe the place. Like I don’t live in the city, city, so there were some places I was unfamiliar with, but even having just the one place you’ve been to brings such a closer connection to the books itself I find.
“ ‘And wait till we tell you who the American President is.’ ”
I would like to announce that this book has been one of the funniest things I have read in probably several months and it was awesome. So many things, despite it being a fantasy book about ghost hunting, still feel relevant, such as the little snippets of shade against a certain person, or us Australians talking about AFL, and everyone(well really, only teenagers and memelords), there is in Area 51 joke in this book. Often I have complained about there being too many pop culture references that sometimes ruins the story, and let us be honest here, it’s usually either Harry Potter or Star Wars. I actually liked the references used and definitely got my nerdy little fantasy heart swelling in delight from the mentioning of Valyrian Steel(from A Song of Ice and Fire) to Elrond’s Council(Lord of the Rings) which I found to be beautiful. Now I’ve got one final quote that I personally found to be hilarious. Here you go.
“She spun around and went Renaissance on his bum(which is like going medieval, but with extra enlightenment)…”
The characters are all wonderful and I really enjoyed the family dynamic used here in this novel. We got a main character who is also the narrator who is so very witty and funny that it is unreal(because you know, he’s not real, it’s a book you guys). There’s also a lesbian couple rather than a love triangle with the guy, which I can so very appreciate, because one, #represent and also because the guy does not need to be being attracted to two girls and being indecisive about it. The plot is on the moderate to fast paced side with plenty of action to keep anyone happy. My one only minor complaint(note, it’s not a critique) was that perhaps the writing style was a tad bit too simplistic for my liking, not that it is bad or anything but rather simply considering the age of the characters, but again, it probably was done for broader appeal and getting younger people to read more, which I fully support.
To sum up, there’s loads of jokes, great characters and it is set in Melbourne, so what more could you want? There’s also a Ghost Walk coming up that the author is hosting in Melbourne: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/ghost-town-ghost-walk-tickets-72204645037. 9/10