For those of you who’ve read ‘Twister,’ Forrest’s debut novel, it will surely come as very welcome news that her second title is now out in the wild.
Borne out her own regret at being unable to say a final goodbye to her grandparents, and her love of a whole spectrum of gloriously-named colours, Forrest has created a gothic-tinged world full of colours that only our heroine, Coral Glen, can see.
Coral is heartbroken at the loss of her grandma and feels that she is responsible for her death. At her funeral, Coral discovers that she is able to see colours that others can’t. Including the celestial spark glow given off by Lyart, the Keeper of the graveyard.
Lyart promises Coral that she’ll get one last chance to say goodbye to her grandma before she moves on, but first Coral must help rid the graveyard of the malevolent spirit of child-killer, Muckle Red. To do this she must embark on a dangerous quest to retrieve three magical objects before he does to prevent him from breaking the witch’s curse which keeps him tied to the cemetery.
With only a poltergeist and an uncooperative graveyard worm called Skaw, it’s up to Coral to save the graveyard and get to say her final goodbye…
I loved this touching and downright spooky story from the off. Coral and her family’s huge sense of loss following the passing of her grandma is palpable. Their reactions are sensitively underplayed but their grief is clear.
The way Forrest has used Coral’s fixation with paint colour charts and their wildly imaginative names to express how she’s feeling is pure genius! Tropical Smoothie, Amethyst Reflections, Caviar Black. Each colour instantly conjures up a mood or memory and provides another layer to the carefully constructed narrative.
This novel is also genuinely spooky, which is something that can be hard to find in middle grade fiction. Visiting the graveyard at night gave me chills, Muckle Red is just terrifying and as for summoning a witch – masterclass in suspense!
A gripping, spooky, emotional read with a brave and brilliantly loyal protagonist.
* Many thanks to Scholastic for sending me this title to review*