Title: Ghoulish Song
Author: William Alexander
Narrator: William Alexander
Format: Hardcover, eBook, Audio Book, Audio CD
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Audio Producer: Simon & Schuster Audio
Length: 3 Hours, 57 minutes
Source: Audio Publisher via AudioBook Jukebox
Genre: Children’s Action-Adventure, 8+
Series: Companion to Goblin Secrets
Best Read in Order: Not Required
Stars: Overall: 4 Narration: 4 Story: 4
Purchase Now: Amazon § Audible § Barnes&Noble
About the Book:
A brave girl flees a ghoul while trying to save her town in this lively, fast-paced companion to National Book Award winner Goblin Secrets.
Kaile lives in Zombay, an astonishing city where goblins walk the streets and witches work their charms and curses. Kaile wants to be a musician and is delighted when a goblin gives her a flute carved out of bone. But the flute’s single, mournful song has a dangerous consequence: It separates Kaile and her shadow. Anyone without a shadow is considered dead, and despite Kaile’s protests that she’s alive and breathing, her family forces her to leave so she can’t haunt their home.
Kaile and her shadow soon learn that the troublesome flute is tied to a terrifying ghoul made from the bones of those who drowned in the Zombay River. With the ghoul chasing her and the river threatening to flood, Kaile has an important role to play in keeping Zombay safe. Will Kaile and her shadow be able to learn the right tune in time?
Set in the delightful and dangerous world of Goblin Secrets, Ghoulish Song is a gripping adventure laced with humor and mystery from National Book Award–winning author William Alexander.
Blending a touch of steampunk into this story, Alexander seems to hit the perfect blend of pace and suspense, with a bit of darkness for tension to please a reader or listener. While I might not be inclined to use this book as a bedtime read – it is the perfect companion for those children wanting something a little darker and scary: I can imagine this story influencing the ghost stories told in later years.
I really like Kaile, her frustrations with the ordinary are completely relatable, and her struggle to solve the flute’s mystery and save her world are cleverly crafted and easy to follow. Other characters are as carefully constructed and introduced: with little details that foreshadow their upcoming place in the story, good or evil.
Beautifully narrated by the author, his voice is the perfect accompaniment to the story. Small distinctions in tone and pacing to illustrate different characters, and his pacing and clarity are perfection. Additionally, there is a discernible distinction in his tone as important plot points, hesitations and even points to remember are presented, a unique touch to self-narrated works that is often absent from other forms of audio.
This is the second in the trilogy, but the world and characters are so well defined, described and presented that having exposure to the first is not necessary: although this will encourage you to seek out the first book, it is that good. Both parents and children will enjoy this: never clichéd, with surprising and unique creatures this well-paced story will demand your attention until the end.
I received the audio cd’s from Simon & Schuster via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review for the Heard Word. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.