Sunday 3 June 2018


Welcome to the Embassy of the Dead. Leave your life at the door. (Thanks.) 

When Jake opens a strange box containing a severed finger, he accidentally summons a grim reaper to drag him to the Eternal Void (yep, it's as fatal as it sounds) and now he's running for his life! But luckily Jake isn't alone - he can see and speak to ghosts. 

Jake and his deadly gang (well dead, at least) - Stiffkey the undertaker, hockey stick-wielding, Cora, and Zorro the ghost fox - have one mission: find the Embassy of the Dead and seek protection. But the Embassy has troubles of its own and may not be the safe haven Jake is hoping for . . .

After reading such a serious and brilliant book last week, I was looking forward to getting stuck into something lighter and fun, but still somewhat spooky. 

That's when this book caught my eye. I mean, look at the cover! It's very cool.

Jake is twelve and isn't very happy about his home life situation. His parents have split up and live in different places, but he wishes they were still together. At least he's got a school trip coming up, and will get to hang out with his friend Sab.

But when a strange man wearing a top hat appears in an alley and gives him a strange box, he takes it. First chance he gets, Jake opens it and finds a severed finger. Only, opening was the worst thing he could've done.

Now he has to team up with Stiffkey the undertaker, skip the school trip, and instead run from the Reaper determined to send him to the Eternal Void. Unless he can get to the Embassy of the Dead (very) soon, his life could be over. Well, that's if his parents don't find out what he's up to first...

OMG. This book was a LOT of fun. It was just what I needed. The perfect weekend read.

As soon as I started, I was totally hooked. Jake's morbid adventure is full of colourful characters, interesting worldbuilding, and danger at every turn. 

I liked Jake's POV and how he tries really hard to do the right thing, even if it's mostly to save his own skin. Stiffkey is such a cool mentor willing to help a live boy, even if it's because he's the one who got him into this mess. Cora is feisty and wants to be free, but finds more than she bargained for. And Zorro, well a ghost fox sounds super awesome to me.

Oh, and Penny was such an intriguing character. I enjoyed meeting her and only wish she'd stuck around longer. And Mawkins? Shudder.

Besides, I'm a sucker for stories featuring ghosts. Plus I liked how whether young, old or in-between, it's so easy to get lost in this tale as deeply as the characters did.

Yeah, there's a lot to love about this book. And another awesome feature are the illustrations. They're SO cool. Not to mention the cheeky crow at the beginning of each chapter, the amusing skull at the end, or the spider who randomly popped on to the pages.

Embassy of the Dead is an engrossing, fast-paced read with plenty of hilarious action. A road trip full of ghostly situations and awesome characters that kept me glued to the pages all the way through. It's also well written and spooky and so funny. I LOLd quite a bit.

Everything about this book made me smile, and caught my attention so much I couldn't put it down.

I'm definitely interested in finding out what happens next to Jake and Cora.

Embassy of the Dead, June 2018, ISBN 9781510104556, Orion Children's Books

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