Wednesday 10 November 2021

Book Review | The Library of the Dead by T.L. Huchu | prettylittlewriter

Thank you so much to Black Crow PR and Tor books for sending me a copy for review!

‘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.’

This is a brilliant read full of ghosts, magic and a dream library setting!

It took me a little while to like our main character Ropa, as she was very stubborn at the start and would only help the departed communicate with their loved ones for a charge (which wasn't very empathetic).

However, as the novel went on, a softer side came out of her, especially when she starts making friends within the library.

The first person thoughts from Ropa were a brilliant way to read the novel through her perspective, and it really helped hook me to the story.

The book takes place in an alternate Edinburgh, set in the future (after an event known as ‘the catastrophe’) and features slums, poverty and quite a bit of violence. Even though it seems to be set in the future, some parts of the novel give me a retro vibe.

I really enjoyed the paranormal elements to it, and the incorporation of Ropa’s mbira (African instrument) to help tether the spirits to the earth so she can communicate with them properly. There was also the mention of another realm, where the departed can be banished to, that has no time or gravity and is full of monsters.

The main danger/baddie within the novel is very clever and really interesting, and without giving too much away, I found it quite scary and difficult to read in places due to the nature of it.

Overall I enjoyed this book a lot, and would highly recommend to anyone that likes a fantasy novel that incorporates ghosts and a dystopian element.

I'm very much looking forward to the 2nd book!

4/5 stars

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