I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Ghost Called Dog by Gavin Neale
Published by 2qt Limited (Publishing) on July 4th 2016
Number of Pages: 156
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Purchase: At Amazon
Moving house is always an adventure but Abby and Chris get more than they bargained for when their parents take them to their new home. The garden, with its playhouse and old tree, promises them hours of fun but soon strange events turn fun into danger... Who are the two spooky old women from down the road and why are they so keen to befriend the children? Where have the cat and dog come from that nobody but Abby and Chris can see? Is their garden with its gnarled old tree an innocent space in which to spend long, summer days - or does it conceal something darker? When the children's mother disappears, the children are forced to confront an ancient evil. Can they defeat the Fairy King through a series of dangerous challenges - or will he destroy them before they can rescue their mother and escape?
This was such a fun book! The characters were all interesting, the children were believable, and I liked figuring out the mysterious bits.
You don’t get a lot of magic right away (other than the ghosts), but you do get a little bit of history as to why magic is mostly gone from the world. I liked the ghost animals, though I didn’t like how cats are portrayed. The ghost T-Rex was a fun surprise.
The book is apparently set in the UK somewhere, as there were a few phrases that were different than what we would say in America. Also, all the mentions of football were really soccer if you’re in the U.S.
The transformations of the children at the end needed a bit of suspension of belief. Mostly because they spoke and acted like adults instead of children. While part of that can be explained away by the magic used, it was still strange for a 7 and 11 year old to start talking and acting that way. I don’t think children would notice however.
I liked the 3 challenges Abby and Chris have to face in order to save their mother. And the twist with the Fairy King was unexpected. I kind of wish this was a series, or at least a duology because I liked the kids and the world so much. I want to know what happens next with Chris. If they stay in contact with the old women, and what other fun magic things may be in store.
This is not a scary book by any means, the ghosts for the most part act like normal animals. If you like middle grade, and are looking for a quick read, you need to try this book.