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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Now in paperback, a first-rate horror story by the bestselling author of the Last Apprentice series Fifteen-year-old Billy guards a castle prison. But it isn't just criminals he's guarding-the ghosts of executed prisoners haunt the place. When Billy is given the task of feeding the prisoner in The Witch Well, a ghost named Long-Neck Netty decides to play a trick on Billy during the feeding...a trick that could cost Billy his life. Lavishly filled with black-and-white illustrations.…

The Ghost Prison

by Joseph Delaney

Overall Book Review:

Author Joseph Delaney of the international bestselling Last Apprentice/Wardstone Chronicles treats young readers with his novella, The Ghost Prison. Mostly told through the quaint drawings of illustrator Scott M. Fischer, this short prose is a nod to the traditional ghost stories that are best told at night by fire or flashlight.

The scene is set by teen protagonist Billy, as he tells of his first weeks as a night prison guard, watching murderers, common criminals, and even convicted witches! As Billy recounts his version of events, readers come to find it’s not the living that are within the cells that Billy must fear, but something or someone far more unhuman.

This spooky story will thrill, chill, and excite those who love the time honored tradition of paranormal tales. Aroused by an eerie setting, progressive arrangement, and demented conclusion, Delaney’s compilation paired with Fischer’s sketches is the perfect package of hair-raising entertainment.

Great for grade-schoolers or middle-schoolers who are looking for something other than the Goosebump series to frighten them. The Ghost Prison might just be the unnerving narrative you’ve been in search of.

Want more macabre fiction with illustrations? Try Tales of Mystery and Madness by Edgar Allan Poe.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Sourcebooks Fire

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 1 religious exclamation.

Note: The word “hell” is used once, but not as an obscenity.

Violence/Gore:  Brief report of a character being violent; adult intimidates child; 2 brief reports of death by execution, one by drowning, the other by hanging; report of inebriated prisoners engaging in a fist fight; secondhand report of 2 violent deaths; somewhat disturbing in detail; scary scene in which a character is threatened to be eaten alive by a gory creature.

Sex/Nudity: Character briefly mentions she would meet a man at night (implication this relationship was romantic in nature) leading to the conception of a child outside of wedlock.

Mature Subject Matter:

Occult activity, orphan, death, paranormal.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Brief mention of drunk prisoners.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I appreciate books of all genres, but my main squeeze is fiction. Depending on my mood it could be romance or suspense; lately I’ve been courting fantasy. When I don’t have my nose in a book, I am locating tasty paleo recipes, writing in-coherent poetry, and crafting with paper.