21 September 2012
Series: Yes, #1
UK Publisher: Strange Chemistry
UK Release date: October 2012
Genre: MG & YA
Kindly given by the publisher for an honest review
15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn't all it's cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it's pretty obvious to Julie there's a supernatural connection.
In fact, there's a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie's high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it's a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won't just lose her mother's soul, she'll lose her mother's life.
Sean Cummings writing style was the first thing that grabbed me when I started reading. It flows naturally, and perfectly encompasses Julie's character including her sassiness, wit and outspoken teen voice. It reads so naturally like a teenager that I instantly got a sense of what Julie's personality was like and I loved her.
Although I guessed pretty much from the outset what was coming at the end, I'm not sure if this was down to my extra good guessing abilities or easy to read plot/characters. Despite this there were still a few twists and surprises that threw me so that I still enjoyed the ending, and the plot overall was energetic and action packed. The premise behind the story has so much potential and I can see Julie getting into a whole host of adventures, or misadventures, in future books and I think it would work so well as a TV series.
The magical elements bring the story to life, with the grimoire passed down to Julie, her mother's collection of unusual smelling concoctions, the shadowcull legacy and don't forget a bit of grave digging.
After Julie, I liked Marcus the best. Because he provides the 'reasonable' and scientific perspective. He tries to fit magic into science and his understanding of the physical world, remains a little sceptical, but also makes steps to believing some of the crazy things that are happening around him.
Although it hadn't really crossed my mind at the time, Non at Catnip, pointed out how well the content and style for Poltergeeks would be appropriate for a younger Middle Grade age range. I think younger audiences would really relate to Julie, the confusing situation she is in with Marcus and their changing relationship. Although she's not popular in school, she is quirky, quick-witted and completely herself. For young girls I think she shines as a role model.
Poltergeeks is a sassy, funny, and thrilling YA debut.