Thursday, January 14, 2021

When you read a book in one sitting: Rob Keeley's MG thriller 'High Spirits'

Title: High Spirits
Series: The Spirits series
Author: Rob Keeley
Genre: MG Fantasy
Pages: 129
Published: 2017
Buy Childish Spirits (#1 in the Spirits series)

What Goodreads has to say:

“Millions of people will die in the war, Ellie. And it’s our job to make sure it happens. That’s why our work isn’t easy.”

It’s been two years since Ellie last spoke to Edward. She thinks she’s left the spirit world behind. But the spirits won’t take no for an answer... When Ellie’s Mum returns to Inchwood Manor, Ellie finds herself going too... and is transported back to the 1930s, discovering a plot to impersonate the King of England.

With the Second World War coming, and the first evil spirits starting to escape into the mortal world, Ellie is fighting alongside some unexpected allies...

Rob Keeley is back with High Spirits, the fourth instalment in his multi-award-listed Spirits series. The series allows young people to learn more about other times, as well as the time in which they live.

What I have to say:

Have you ever started reading a book, and it's so fun and riveting that you just keep reading, and before you know it you've read the whole book and you haven't left your chair for like 3 hours?

Well, now I can add High Spirits to the list of books I've read in less than 24 hours. It's actually a pretty short list that includes Ella Enchanted, The Titan's Curse, and Gloria Whelan's Burying the Sun

Now, admittedly, High Spirits is not a long book, so it's not like it took me more than a few hours to read. But I've read books of the same length that took me forever to get through, so this is still an accomplishment.

As usual, Rob Keeley's absolutely perfect storytelling, quick dashes of humor, and ghostly surprises made this a joy to read.

In High Spirits, Ellie has to repair the damage she did trying to save her friends in the last book. She's gotten involved in the world of spirits, and now she has to see things through to the end. This time, that means saving England from falling into the wrong hands. As in all the Spirits novels, there's a lot at stake here, but possibly more than ever before. If Ellie fails, England will fall to a pair of shapeshifting spirits and German Nazis will take over the world.

OK yes, Nazis taking over is not exactly the most original plot line in the history of the world, but this is definitely a new spin on it and after all, when you need some token bad guys, who's better than Nazis? 

Luckily, this story is told in such a fun way and the action is so non-stop that I never felt like the plot line was stale or overdone. It introduces us to some new characters--well, new after a fashion. (Is it a new character if it's just a younger version of a character we've already met in the present?) My favorite was Clara Harvey, an outspoken young girl from the 1930s. I also liked her brother Tom. There's not much of my favorite ghost child Edward Fitzberranger in this one, but since I'm sure that will be rectified in the next novel, I won't lodge a complaint at this time.

And, typical of Rob Keeley's Spirits novels, High Spirits leaves off with a major cliffhanger, though this may be the biggest one to date. History has been rewritten, and once again, it looks like Ellie is the only one who can set things right. I'm excited to continue this delightful story in the final novel, The Coming of the Spirits.


Not sure how I could not give it 5 stars after admitting that I read it in one sitting.

Until tomorrow.