By Andrew Newbound, Chicken House, $16.99, 309 pages
Tweens Alannah Mallarra and her techie business partner Wortley Flint are professional ghost hunters. Clients contact them to take care of bizarre hauntings. The pair guarantee to rid any house of any ghost, usually free of charge. That’s because the ghosts they hunt guard priceless treasure and that is payment enough! Unbeknownst to the duo, another organization is also after the ghosts. Called Evanescents, these heavenly, silver-haired members of the A.N.G.E.L. police squad are fighting to save the human race from ghouls involved in a centuries-old conflict. Officer Flhi Swift and rookie troopers Yell and Gloom work together with Alannah and Wortley in Andrew Newbound’s Ghoul Strike!.
The characters make great heroes for tween readers, especially girls. Alannah is a psychic and she uses stored energy during hunts to blasts the beasties. Her parents disappeared three years ago while on a ghost hunt and she plans to the ghosts’ treasures to fund a search for them. Newbound is a fan of metaphors (“His leg muscles burned as if they’d been set on fire and his heart was pounding against his chest like a jabbing boxer.”) His first novel is an entertaining entry into the fantasy genre.
Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin