Publisher's Note:  

When they ring the bell at the house with the dusty windows and tarnished nameplate to inquire about the advertised “Saturday Person,” Thruppence and Tim don’t know what they’re getting themselves into. A Saturday job sounds ideal! But had that nameplate been properly cleaned, Thruppence and Tim might not have been so keen to enter . . .

Pressured by the stern Minister Beeston from the Department of Economies, the Ministry of Ghosts has been given three months to prove the existence or nonexistence of ghosts, or else it will be shut down! As it seems that children are particularly magnetic to ghosts and supernatural beings, Thruppence and Tim are hired to join the ministry’s ghost-catching team. And although neither of them is scared by talk of ghosts or monsters, they are unprepared for what they’re about discover!

Filled with fun, humor, and twists and turns, this is the perfect book for anyone who loved Harry Potter and who is looking for something similar to Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book—just not quite as scary.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Sky Pony Press

The Ministry of Ghosts

by Alex Shearer

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Overall Review:  

Ghostly pursuits have never been more welcome in Alex Shearer's novel, The Ministry of Ghosts.

Told in third person, the author cleverly introduces readers to the world of the paranormal, or maybe, the lack thereof?

As for ghosts – the ghosts that the Ministry had been set up to find – where were they? Were they all merely illusions of the minds of the credulous and the gullible? Were they little more than stories to be told around campfires, with the small flames burning and the woodsmoke rising, and that darkness behind your, and the fear growing, and your spine tingling as the storyteller wove his fantastic cloth of impossible, improbable, yet dazzlingly colorful yarns?

Though there is more than one protagonist, it's not so much for the reader to get confused by it. For the author pleasantly confers every character with such imaginative appearance and mannerisms, that each one can easily be identified. Even the antagonist, the beastly Mr. Beeston sports spooky theatrics.

Mr. Beeston was a man who came with thunder and who left with lightning and who announced himself with force and drama. He wanted it to be understood from the start that here was someone to be reckoned with.”

Comedic flair and amusing phrasing make this a novel that must be read aloud to truly enjoy. The play of words on tongue are too much fun for it to be silently pursued. Sometimes, it even reads like poetry, more comparable to Shel Silverstein than Edgar Allan Poe when it comes to mysterious adventure. And like any good mystery should, there is a twist that is sure to rattle, but what is really to be believed when it comes to matters of the supernatural?

Bury it all. Yes. Maybe that was right. Just move on to other matters; forget what had happened. Let all the weird and wonderful and inexplicable things in the world simply take care of themselves.

Perhaps a novel best suited for children who aren't quite ready for the length of a Harry Potter novel, but still want a taste of what a talented British writer has brewed up.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  2 religious exclamations; 1 mild obscenity.

Violence/Gore: Joke is made about being on a suicide mission; character threatens to break down the door if he/she is not granted entrance; brief remark about injured soldiers returning home from battle in need of a prosthetic; character issues a generalized threat; brief mention of newspaper article about a murder (sensational in nature); character brings a heavy object with him/her in case they encounter an entity in which they would need to protect themselves against; children cast and incantation in the hopes of summoning ghostly entities (fun and spooky); character's slight facial disfigurement implies he/she had been involved in fighting; character is said to have robbed facility with shotgun and pickax; report of murder suicide (sensational in nature); report of lovers leaping to their unfortunate end; in fright character grabs other characters hand with force.

Sex/Nudity: Female character is said to read romance novels, also known as “bodice rippers”; female character is described to be a feminist and mentions the feminist movement throughout the novel; comical interaction between boy and girl character in which they resolve the will not be “lovey-dovey” towards one another; husband kisses wife; implications throughout novel that a man is attracted to a woman; report of lovers leaping to their unfortunate end; individuals express their romantic love towards one another (2x); friendly hug.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Paranormal activity, death (not morbid). Note: Brief mention of murder and suicide.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Mention of beer brewery carriage; comical mention of a whiskey distillery; remark about pubs.

Reviewed By MaryLou
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