July 26, 2011


by Stacey Kade
266 pages, Hyperion

Review by Melissa Conway

I should never have read this after Cassandra Clare's City of Bones. Not because the two books are at all comparable, but because after plowing through Clare's hefty tome, The Queen of the Dead was over in a blink of an eye. It's a quick read—so quick I barely had time to reacquaint myself with long-suffering Will and his feisty spirit-guide Alona before I was left hanging until the next book.

Things are a little more complicated in this, the second in the series. Kade has tossed a group of ghost-catching scientists into the mix – and these guys believe ghosts are mere shadows of the once-living; echoes of their personalities – and therefore not 'real.' That may be true for some of the twisted specters that inhabit this book, but anyone who's met (and argued with) Alona is sure to disagree.

Anyone except frizzy-haired Mina, the apprentice ghost-talker, that is. Mina can hear, but not see ghosts, which makes it hard for her to actually catch them – something she needs to do to attain full-fledged ghost-talker status among her father's peers. Mina's not above doing whatever it takes to please her disapproving dad, and Will Killian is just the guy she needs to help her.

The relationship between Alona and Will is put to the test in this book, but I don't want to spoil it by giving anything away. Suffice it to say that something I anticipated happening in the first book has in fact happened by the end of the second – and this something has the potential to really spice up the much-anticipated third book!

Another good story by Stacey Kade.

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