High Spirits by Rob Keeley – Book Review
High Spirits by Rob Keeley – Book Review
Childish Spirits Book Four
Author – Rob Keeley
Publisher – Matador
Pages – 128
Release Date – 1st August 2017
ISBN 13 – 978-1788036153
Format – paperback
Reviewer – Stacey
I received a free copy of this book
“Millions of people will die in the war, Ellie. And it’s our job to make sure it happens. That’s why our work isn’t easy.”
It’s been two years since Ellie last spoke to Edward. She thinks she’s left the spirit world behind. But the spirits won’t take no for an answer… When Ellie’s Mum returns to Inchwood Manor, Ellie finds herself going too… and is transported back to the 1930s, discovering a plot to impersonate the King of England.
With the Second World War coming, and the first evil spirits starting to escape into the mortal world, Ellie is fighting alongside some unexpected allies…
High Spirits sees the series come of age and picks up with the central character, Ellie in her teenage years as she begins to realise the true nature of her abilities as one who talks to ghosts – and to discover her destiny. It sees her time-travel to the 1930s, as she discovers evil spirits and Nazi sympathisers working together in a way that will change the course of history. She then discovers the impact that such a change would have.
Elle is back and this time she is a teenager with a crush on her brother Charlie’s friend, Luke. She has left the spirit world behind, and not heard from Edward for the last few years. Although she misses Edward, after the events in the last book she is glad that the spirits haven’t tried to reach her.
Whilst enjoying a ride on the ghost train with Luke, the fake ghosts soon turn into reality telling Ellie they need her help, but she really doesn’t want to help them anymore.
It would seem though that the spirits have more of a hold on Ellie than she knew possible, as she is transported back to the 1930’s, before WWII breaks out. Devious spirits are trying to stop the war, you might think that this is a good idea, but it would change the world as we know it. It’s up to Ellie to make sure that war still happens or our time will be changed forever. Will Ellie succeed or is our world doomed?
‘High Spirits’ is the fourth book in the Childish Spirits series feature Ellie, a young girl living with her mum and brother Charlie. Her mum and dad separated and now her dad is living in their old home whilst they are living in a not-so-nice hotel.
At the start of the series we met a young Ellie meeting cheeky spirit Edward. Over the course of the next two books the two had to pull together if they were to save themselves, and the world from what lies beyond.
This time Edward didn’t feature as much as he did in the other books, which was a shame as I like naughty Edward. I agree entirely with the author that meddling in the past can only turn out badly and cause devastation on today’s society.
The book is a fun Children’s/YA novel, though it is a straight forward story of courage and doing the right thing, mixed in with the paranormal. There are no love scenes, or much in the way of action. What you get is a good, clean story with a great plot.
You do need to read the other books in the series to understand what is happening in this one. The author has also left us dangling this time with its cliffhanger of an ending. This sets up the last book in the series, ‘The coming of the Spirits’ perfectly.
Reviewed by Stacey
About the Author
Rob was born in Wirral, Merseyside. Because he was a wheelchair user, the authorities placed him in a special school, aged three. Rob, however, had other ideas. Over the next twenty years he worked his way up to mainstream schooling, college and then university, gained a degree in Law and qualified as a barrister before working for several years in the third sector, including a stint in children’s and family services. He has also worked as a volunteer classroom assistant helping young people with reading and I.T.
Writing his first story aged seven, his first short play aged eleven and first being published at fifteen, Rob wrote for several magazines before his first book for children, The Alien in the Garage and Other Stories, was published in 2011. He has since written two more collections of children’s stories, one of which, The Dinner Club and Other Stories, was longlisted for the International Rubery Book Award.
He has now published the first four novels in his Spirits series for children, the first of which, Childish Spirits, gained him a Distinction for his MA in Creative Writing before being longlisted for the Bath Children’s Novel Award and nominated for the People’s Book Prize in 2015.
Rob also has BBC writing experience with Chain Gang and Newsjack for Radio 4 Extra. He has recently studied Screenwriting and Filmmaking. His books have been used in schools, libraries and at literary festivals and he is in demand for his author workshops, which one teacher even described as “inspirational”!
You can find out more about Rob in his interview – ‘The Writing Life of: Rob Keeley‘