Embassy of the Dead is an entertaining adventure set both in our ordinary world and the co-existing world of the not-quite-departed dead. Jake is a normal boy with a normal school and normal family who has to leave all those normal things behind when he is caught up by accident in the affairs of the Embassy, which polices the interactions between the lands of the living and the dead.
This novel avoids the cliches and overly familiar plots that the recent surge in paranormal stories about children and ghosts, of both the friendly and scary varieties, have made so common. The characters in this book seem very alive…even the ones that aren’t. The author’s use of different mannerisms and patterns of speech for each character serves to make them feel realistically individual, and he graces even characters who have a somewhat small role to play in the story with this uniqueness.
The setting of this novel is at first one that will be familiar to young readers, since it is an everyday home of a boy who goes to an ordinary school. These familiar environs quicky change to something entirely different, after serving only to give the reader a point from which to identify with the main character. The ordinary world in this novel is populated with all sorts of ghosts and afterwordly denizens, and the author describes them in a way that makes them easy to visualize.
This plot of this book gets moving quickly, and once it gathers momentum, it doesn’t stop until the end. The pages fly by at a rapid pace, and the author keeps the suspense going so that the reader doesn’t want to put the book down.
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Walker Books
Profanity/Language: 14 mild obscenities (12 of these are used as part of a proper name.)
Violence/Gore: A severed body part figures prominently in this story, and it is carried around, discussed, and described many times; a spooky scene with a ghost; a fight in which a monster is decapitated; some monsters are made of decaying flesh and bones appear a few times; report of a man killed in an accident; a scene in which monsters chase characters; report of a murder; report of an accidental drowning; a character sports a fatal head wound in an illustration, but it is cartoonish and not gory; a dead animal is briefly reanimated; a verbal threat; a man hits a child; a character threatens another with a weapon; a character is knocked out by a blow; one character wears a dead animal as an article of clothing, and another uses an animal corpse as part of a weapon; a few fights involving magic with no major injury; a few creepy scenes featuring animated severed body parts; a man uses a choke-hold on a child; a character wears bloodstained clothing.
Mature Subject Matter:
A child deals with his parents’ recent divorce.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Adults smoke tobacco.