This was one of the most different books read by me in this year. And I was glad to have read it. The basic plot line was great: an admixture of fantasy and magic in a children’s book.
The story was set in the city of Lundenwich where magic and spirits and unexplainable beings abounded. Amongst them was Tom, suddenly plucked from the orphanage, into an extraordinary funeral home by Mrs. Wickfield who could see Tom’s potential as a medium and something more and his intelligence.
This was an eclectic read for me as the book started with a group of children in the orphanage, soon went on to become fantasy in the funeral home where it was shown how Mrs Wickfield ran a Society with talented children who were mediums, inventors, each capable of getting to the truth from autopsy to channelling. They all helped cops in solving various crimes.
If I forgot that the characters were children, then this would have sounded like a perfect YA fantasy. The author Terry Graves is talented, his imagination knows no bounds. He made the book an absolute adventure set in olden times. His descriptions of the world of Lundenwich were emotive in an eccentric manner.
Then came my niggles, the book should have been written in a simpler manner, there were too many difficult explanations. I had to go back and reread some. The flow of the book didn’t feel smooth, and Tom as the main character, took too many pages to shine through.
But the book was good fun, there was a murder mystery along with intelligent kids, magic, ghosts and spirits, unnatural talent, weird ectoplasm, machines which could capture memories, noctivages (zombies), powders which could solidify souls – all these made this book quite a distinctive read!!
I received a copy from the author, and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
My rating : 4 stars
About the Author
Terry Graves is a pen name for Victor Selles, a Spanish writer. He has served coffees for a living and cleaned and prepared dinosaur fossil bones just for fun. Also, he writes in third person because he doesn’t have enough money to pay for a proper biographer.
Under his real name, he has published a dozen short stories in different Spanish anthologies and magazines, together with writers such as Mike Resnick, Caroline M. Yoachim, Aliette de Bodard and Lavie Tidhar. He has translated Lucy Clifford’s The New Mother into Spanish, has written scripts for two short films and has won a couple of literary competitions. He is proud to say that some of his work has been rejected by both Granta and 2000 AD magazines.
Victor Selles mostly writes slipstream and literary fiction, and the Terry Graves pseudonym is his way to play with a more straightforward approach to the fantasy genre and to explore the possibilities of self-publishing and the English language.
Author Contact Details
The city of Lundenwich is overrun by the supernatural. Now there is also a murderer on the loose who threatens to destroy the peace of the metropolis.
For Tom, who lives a dreadful existence at St Mary’s Orphanage with an uncaring caretaker, nothing would be better than to find a real family. However, his life changes when he is recruited by a mysterious old woman for her funeral business. Soon, Tom discovers that there is more to the funeral home than meets the eye, and that Mrs Wickfield takes care of the deceased in a rather unexpected way, as she secretly leads a Society of half-detectives, half-medium children who help the police solve heinous crimes.
Now Tom has to stop a vicious killer, overcome his fear of ghosts, and prove himself worthy of being a member of the Society. Will he be able, with the help of his new friends, to re-establish the city’s equilibrium?
Publication date : 24th November 2017