Monday 27 August 2018


One year ago, Kitty's boyfriend Nikki Bramley visited a psychic who told him he had no future. Now, he's dead. With the Bramleys grieving inside their rural English home, Kitty sets out to find the psychic who read Nikki his fate. 

Instead she finds Roan, an enigmatic medium claiming he can speak to the dead. He belongs to the Life and Death Parade - a group that explore the thin veil between this world and the next. 

Kitty is convinced he's a charlatan - but the 'magic' seems to work. The darkness is lifting. 

But there are things Kitty can't ignore - evidence of strange rituals, shadows of the boy she lost, and Kitty begins to suspect that this boy had something to do with Nikki's death. More, that he may have the very real power to bring him back... 

A few years ago I read In the Dark, In the Woods and loved it so much that when I found out Eliza Wass had a new book available, I was definitely interested in checking it out. 

Plus, the cover is super cool.

Kitty lives in a big castle with the Bramley family, but she's not related to them. And since Nikki died, she pretty much haunts the corridors of the old place.

It's not until she decides to track down the psychic who told the boy she loved he didn't have a future, that she discovers something worth focusing on. Or rather, someone.

Roan is mysterious and strange, but he's charming and introduces Kitty to the magic of the Life and Death Parade. She might not believe in his supposed skill, but he does liven up the place and awakens a family that's slowly withering away.

But what is Roan's real purpose? And how is Kitty connected to everything? If she doesn't start believing in something soon, she might lose herself in the process... 

Wow. This book is SO engrossing. As soon as I started, I got caught up in the shadowy air of mystery following the story from beginning to twisty end.

There are a LOT of things to like about this book, and Kitty's voice is the biggest reason. She doesn't shy away from the ugly, doesn't pretend she hasn't lost her way and has pretty much given up on everything. But is always there for those who need her.

The sense of location is so vivid. I could see the vast castle in my mind, imagined how easily it was for each member of the family to retreat to their own dark corners and continue on with their empty lives.

As for the Life and Death Parade, it's intriguing and lively and so full of death symbology. But it wasn't creepy. I saw it more like a celebration, and enjoyed spending time there. And we got to meet Joy! If there's one thing I wish there was more of, it's Joy because she's delightful.

The poems at the beginning--written by the author's late husband--of each part helped set the sombre mood.

The Life and Death Parade is such a beautiful haunting tale about grief, secrets and forgetting how to live after a personal tragedy. It's full of shadowed memories, painful thoughts, and is told through the eyes of a young girl who's lost a lot, and blames herself for what the boy she cared about most did.

I really loved this, and will continue to look out for more books written by this author.

The Life and Death Parade, July 2018, ISBN 9781784295271, Quercus Children's Books

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