Reading level: Young Adult
Trade paperback: 339 pages
Publisher: Our Street Books
Release date: May 31, 2013
Reviewed by: Stéphanie
Source: Copy from the author
Jesse is an apprentice exorcist who defies his priests when he learns his sister is in danger even though she’s dead. When he’s exiled to a haunted world, Jesse must unravel the mystery of ghosts if he is to save her. He plunges into a deadly game of hide-and-seek. The players include denizens draped in monkish robes, ghosts with matted eyes, the dead who tunnel underground in terror, and…Elspeth.
A coven scientist, Elspeth is both respected and feared for her abnormal spiritual powers. Jesse needs–craves–the knowledge of ghosts which she possesses. But is Elspeth a spiritual prodigy, or dangerously insane? The coven scientist begs him to trust her. He doesn’t. But he wants to.
Caught in a world on the brink of spiritual evolution, Jesse struggles to understand Elspeth even as frightening contacts from his sister force him to face the secret, shattering meaning of a verse he knows well: Blessed are the poor in ghost.
If I had to describe THE GHOSTING OF GODS in one word, it would be unique. Uniquely strange. At first, I had a hard time getting into the novel because the story starts right away. There’s very little introduction as the author plunges into action right from the beginning. Sometimes, that can be a good thing, but in this case, since the world the main character lives in isn’t quite the one we know, I found it a little confusing. The opening scene was gripping, to be honest, but I had little insight on what was really going on, so the effect was lost on me.
Cricket Baker’s writing is dark and heavy. It’s full of double meanings and philosophical thoughts that makes you reevaluate the meaning of life and death. She has a great imagination to have created this expansive world full of mystery and paranormal elements. Ghosts appear in every corner of the book and just when you start to understand their presence, a little more is revealed about them, which completely shifts our understanding of this parallel world. This world is also undergoing some sort of religious metamorphosis which makes us meet some very strange characters.
The story follows Jesse’s quest into a parallel universe, in which he’s thrown in along with his best friend Poe, his ex-lover Ava and her daughter Leesel. Not knowing what happened or why they find themselves in this new world, their main objectives are to stick together and find a way to get back home. But easier said than done. Not many people of the world know how to travel from one world to another, and if any of them have a clue, they are very cryptic about it. Jesse is also trying to find a way to help his sister, whom he believes is in trouble, even if she is dead and trapped as a ghost. Her senseless murder has really affected him and he would do anything to be with his sister again. I like the idea that ghosts exists in Jesse’s world, and as an apprentice exorcist, he knows a thing or two about them. But when the author starts to describe crystal balls that hold the memories of ghosts, I got a little bit more confused. The idea was original but could have benefited from more explanations.
Personally, I thought the story was well detailed and well researched but the writing was a little bit too heavy for my taste. Also, I’m not a big fan of the first person present tense the book was written in, so I think that was one of the little things that didn’t work for me. GHOSTING OF THE GODS is not the type of book you’ll sit down and enjoy in one sitting. The book will literally make you think and analyze the details. While I would usually pass on this type of book, I did enjoy the gothic and macabre tone of the story. I’m sure the novel will find many readers that will enjoy the book more than I did.