Page Count 288
Publication date March 2021
When a child goes missing in Edinburgh’s darkest streets, young Ropa investigates. She’ll need to call on Zimbabwean magic as well as her Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. But as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?
When ghosts talk, she will listen…
Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker. Now she speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children–leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honor-bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.
She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan…), discovering an occult library and a taste for hidden magic. She’ll also experience dark times. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets, and Ropa’s gonna hunt them all down
Immediately I loved the narrative style of Huchu’s writing, it endeared me to Ropa right away. Ropa is hilarious, her belligerence offset by love for her family and an honourable heart. I found myself laughing out loud at some of her offhand remarks, ‘Fanny flutter alert’ being one of my favourites.
Huchu’s Edinburgh is a bizarre mix of old world and new; mobile phones but unstable electricity, roads in ruin with police on horseback- but somehow it isn’t jarring.
Ropa introduces us to the the rules and regulations of her occupation as a ghost messenger in a conversational tone that feels as if the reader has gone out to work with her for training.
I found the musical instruments used to tether ghosts to this realm very interesting and a fun change from the usual tropes.
When her kind hearted Gran convinces Ropa to help a penniless ghost in the search for her missing son, Ropa enlists her forever friend, new friend and fox companion as aid.
Don’t be fooled by my light hearted review though, there will be violence, there will be scares and there will be despair!
This is a real good vs evil story that has only just begun. I can’t wait for the next installment.
Library Of The Dead features fantastic own voice, POC and disability rep in a unique fantasy horror set in a cruel Scottish dystopia.
A thrilling read that I highly recommend.