Queen of the Dead

By Stacey Kade

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Hyperion, 2011

Genres:  Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, paranormal

Series: A Ghost and the Goth Novel; 2

ISBN: 9781423134671

Audience: Young adult

Number of pages: 267

Setting: Groundsboro (state not specified but the town is near Decatur, so it could be Illinois)

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Alona Dare is Will Killian’s spirit guide.  She’s a ghost, he’s a ghost talker, and the ghosts in town know that they have to go through Alona to get help from Will.  Alona and Will have been through a lot together in the past couple of months, but now it’s summer and life should be a bit more relaxed.  Except, there’s a new ghost talker in town.  Only she seems less interested in communicating with ghosts, than in capturing them.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: The pacing is moderately fast in the first half of the book.  The second half of the book is very quick.

Characterization: Told in first person by both Alona and Will in alternating chapters.  Other important characters include Mina and Lily Turner.

Frame: The title sets the frame for the book; the story focuses more upon Alona than Will.

Story line:  Ghost Whisperer meets Ghostbusters with teenage main characters.

Subject headings:

From Pima County Public Library:

Ghost stories.

Interpersonal relations — Juvenile fiction.

Secret societies — Juvenile fiction.

Families — Juvenile fiction.

Spirit possession — Juvenile fiction.

Ghost stories — Fiction.

Interpersonal relations — Fiction.

Secret societies — Fiction.

Family problems — Fiction.

Spirit possession — Fiction.

Young adult fiction.

Similar works:

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

Hex Hall series by Rachael Hawkins

Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar

The Iron Witch series by Karen Mahoney

Generation Dead series by Daniel Waters

Personal notes: I liked this book, but perhaps not as much as the first in the series.  The beginning seemed less exciting than the start of the first book.  It’s not until about halfway through that the story really gets rolling and hard to put down.

Other: Diversity – psychics (ghost sensers), ghosts,  child of an alcoholic, comatose patient

Stacey Kade’s website

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