Books & Literature

Book Review: Spectre Collectors: Too Ghoul for School, by Barry Hutchison

Denzel, a young man who can see ghosts, is courted by a secret ghost hunting organisation for his skills after being attacked by paranormal beings.

This is a fun book aimed at both boys and girls in the 9-14 age range. It is written in an easy-to-read, light-hearted manner which has the action and humour flowing from the start. It has ghosts, good guys, bad guys and those in between; guns and gadgets; magic and trickery; and involves moral judgements at major points in the story. The publisher’s choice to edge each page with a vibrant green is also an engaging element in its presentation.

Hutchison has combined Men in Black type characters with aspects of Ghostbusters and every ghost hunting show available on television. There’s elements of magic to produce a highly entertaining and very engaging piece that will have younger readers giggling at the humour, identifying with the relationships and wanting more.

Set in England, Denzel is a young man who can see ghosts, quite a rare ability, it would seem. He is also being courted by a secret ghost hunting organisation for his skills. He is, apart from this, an ordinary, early secondary school student who lives with his dads and who has a best mate, who is a genuine misfit, called Smithy. Denzel has a lot to learn, fast, when, twice in 48 hours, he is attacked by paranormal beings.

Denzel teams up with his mate and some other young Spectre Collectors to fight a battle between past wrongs, a huge ego and what is ultimately right, with unexpected results. This book is one that will appeal to a wide range of readers and is one to have on the young ghost enthusiast’s bookshelf.

Reviewed by Leanne Caune

Rating out of 10:  9

Distributed by: Allen and Unwin
Release Date: December 2017
RRP: $14.99 paperback

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