Lightning Falls

Publisher: Macmillan

Valerie was brought to Lightning Falls as a toddler where, with her family of ghosts, she entertains the hardened spook-hunters who visit the Ghost House for a good scare. But Valerie isn’t quite like the others.

They all have memories of their previous lives and stopped aging once they died. But Valerie gets older every year and, unlike the rest, still needs to eat, drink and sleep. She’s not quite a ghost but not quite living either.

One night, Valerie sees a strange boy on the viaduct; a boy who is trying to save his world, Orbis, as its power is gradually being drained away by whoever has stolen magical anchors from its citizens.

The more Joe reveals, the more Valerie’s beliefs are thrown into confusion until she finds herself, and the ghosts, in a pitched battle with someone she thought had saved her life.

An intense build-up of mystery and jeopardy will keep readers gripped in this fantasy thriller that crosses two worlds. It’s not entirely clear who the goodies and baddies are until deep into the story, and some lines are deliciously blurred.

Asking interesting questions about morality and identity, this is an engrossing book with wide appeal.

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