‘Tis the first of October, which means spooky season is officially upon us! So I’ve decided to open the month with a review of a supremely spooky, witchy book, The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry. If I’m not mistaken, this is her first completely original novel after a few novels based on retellings of classic stories such as a twisted version of Alice in Wonderland. And oh, this hits completely differently… Think Stranger Things crossed with an ancient curse meets feminism.
Many thanks to Lydia Gittins and Titan Books for sending me a review copy! All opinions are my own.
STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶
RELEASE DATE: 08/09/2020
SUMMARY: When the bodies of two girls are found torn apart in her hometown, Lauren is surprised, but she also expects that the police won’t find the killer. After all, the year before her father’s body was found with his heart missing, and since then everyone has moved on. Even her best friend, Miranda, has become more interested in boys than in spending time at the old ghost tree, the way they used to when they were kids.
So when Lauren has a vision of a monster dragging the remains of the girls through the woods, she knows she can’t just do nothing. Not like the rest of her town. But as she draws closer to answers, she realizes that the foundation of her seemingly normal town might be rotten at the centre. And that if nobody else stands for the missing, she will. (from Titan Books)
OPINIONS: I devoured The Ghost Tree. I think I stayed up late two nights in a row to read the book because I needed to know what happened. The story is set in the mid-1980s, giving it a bit of that Stranger Things vibe we’ve all been loving so much over the past few years, allowing for the story to develop without the interruption of things like the internet or cell phones. And that setting allows it credibility in itself. It works almost like a second-world setting, in which the story is possible.
There are some questions that an attentive reader can figure out relatively soon – I know I had my suspicions, but that does not detract from the story as a whole. It is the story of a town, of a setting, of a curse. It is the story of a girl, a forgotten past and a potential future. It is heartbreaking, and sad, creepy and hopeful. There are no boring moments in The Ghost Tree, and it works wonderfully as a spooky autumn novel to curl up with under blankets when its dark and gloomy outside.
So get yourself a cup of tea or a glass of whisky, depending on what you prefer, add The Ghost Tree to your Goodreads here and get yourself a copy from your dealer of choice for a delightfully creepy night in. Forbidden Planet has signed copies here!