The Ghostkeeper

Putnam. Jul. 2024. 272p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780593526675.
Gr 6 Up–This graphic novel has much to delight over: a Victorian-type setting, an adorable queer romance, ghosts, and plague doctor exorcists! After a childhood accident leaves Dorian Leith with a “ghost eye” and the ability to communicate with ghosts, he dedicates his life to easing the problems of the shades he encounters by teaching them coping skills and helping them cross to the other side. When a young ghost steals the key to Death’s Door, none of the ghosts are able to move on, and there’s just not enough room in the town for the living and the deceased. It’s up to Dorian to find the key and help the spirits move on before a ghostly plague consumes them and drives them mad—or the exorcists destroy them. Unfortunately, the constant need for attention—particularly from Dorian’s ghostly grandmother—drains Dorian and leaves him with almost no energy to devote to his fledgling relationship with a lovable bookseller, or to care properly for himself. Similar to TJ Klune’s Under the Whispering Door, the gentle story probes how grief can haunt us and how we must learn to let go. Readers will delight in the lovable characters and the beautiful illustrations, with ghosts appearing in spectral blue and green hues and the world of the living rendered in warm colors, cozy interiors, and green meadows.
VERDICT This ghostly fantasy has everything that fans of cozy, spooky books want in a story.

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