BOOK REVIEW: THE LIBRARY OF THE DEAD BY T.L. HUCHU

Rating: 3 out of 5.

SYNOPSIS

When a child goes missing in Edinburgh’s darkest streets, young Ropa investigates. She’ll need to call on Zimbabwean magic as well as her Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. But as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?

When ghosts talk, she will listen…

Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker. Now she speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children–leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honor-bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.

She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan…), discovering an occult library and a taste for hidden magic. She’ll also experience dark times. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets, and Ropa’s gonna hunt them all down. 

I love a good paranormal mystery series as much as the next person, but I had a hard time paying attention to this one. When I read a good book, I am FOCUSED, and don’t really want to do anything other than read. While reading The Library of the Dead, I kept coming up with excuses to not read. It might not be the book’s fault, but there you have it.

Ropa is a fourteen/fifteen year old girl who lives in a slum with her grandmother and younger sister. Ropa can see the dead, can talk to them, and as a job, delivers messages to those still alive for them. Ropa is…almost obnoxious throughout the whole book. She’s got a definite voice, and the whole novel is written in it. I can see this turning off a LOT of potential readers, but once you get past it, it’s alright. You get a real sense of who Ropa is, this way, I suppose.

The plot is rather predictable, but it was still enjoyable. Kids have gone missing in and around Ropa’s slum. One child’s dead mother asks Ropa to look for him. She goes looking, and discovers a horrible conspiracy. I won’t spoil it, but if you dive into the book, I’m willing to bet that you’ll solve the mystery rather quick.

I did like the atmosphere of the novel and the sense that something big and horrible had happened worldwide just a few years before it takes place. Ropa leads you to believe the world and society is crumbling, and there’s no real sense of government anymore. I will be reading the next book in this series, as I have an ARC for it, and because I’m interested to more about the world.

I’d give The Library of the Dead three stars.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

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