The Library of the Dead (Edinburgh Nights: Bk. 1). Jun. 2021. 336p. Tr $27.99. ISBN 9781250767769; pap. $18.99. ISBN 9781250767783.
Fourteen-year-old high school dropout Ropa is barely hanging on as she tries to support her Gran and her younger sister with her licensed ghost-talker business. However, the money she gets for delivering messages between the living and the dead is barely enough to pay the rent on their trailer. Although Ropa seems to be a tough-as-nails young businesswoman, when one of her ghostly clients begs for help investigating her missing child, Ropa’s conscience won’t let her ignore the mother’s plea, despite the fact that she can’t pay the fee. Ropa’s search starts at a very unique magical library where she uncovers a hidden talent inside of her which leads her across the seedier parts of Edinburgh, Scotland, and into several life-threatening situations. Readers must remain on their toes as they keep up with a large cast of characters both living and dead, while following the physics of magic and references from Scottish history, Zimbabwean culture, and Greek mythology. However, Ropa’s snarky, noir-ish first-person narration keeps the plot moving along quickly. Enough closure is provided to satisfy readers in the end, although plenty is left open for a whole new series to develop.
VERDICT This supernatural thriller is a natural crossover title for teens who like fantastical elements mixed in with their scares.

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