Tuesday, 28 July 2020

The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker review

“Congratulations, new kid. Welcome to the afterlife.”

What if death is only the beginning?

When Harriet Stoker dies after falling from a balcony in a long-abandoned building, she discovers a world of ghosts with magical powers – shape-shifting, hypnosis, even the ability to possess the living.

Felix, Kasper, Rima and Leah welcome her into their world, eager to make friends with the new arrival. Yet Harriet is more interested in unleashing her own power, even if it means destroying everyone around her. But when all of eternity is at stake, the afterlife can be a dangerous place to make an enemy.

Every time I read a new Lauren James book, I say it's her best yet. And then she writes another and I stand corrected. The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker is gripping, moving and brilliantly plotted. 

Harriet is the most fascinating main character. It was so fun trying to work out what she'd get up to next and how I'd feel about her by the end. 

The plot of this book is incredibly fresh and inventive, and I found it impossible to predict. Most books I read seem to have their roots in others, but this is completely its own thing! The darker exploration of the afterlife is balanced out by sweetness and humour. Incorporating supernatural elements is a new dimension for Lauren James, and it really works.

Another amazing element is the setting. Basing a book in one location can be hard to pull off, but in this story it created at times a lovely, close-knit community for the ghosts and at others a tense, claustrophobic environment that they can't escape. 

Lauren James is one of my favourite authors, and I think this is her best book yet. 

Thank you so much to Walker Books for the review copy on Netgalley!

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