JUST FINISHED: Killing the Dead by Marcus Sedgwick.
Written for World Book Day 2015, this is a short novella set in a girls’ boarding school, and told from the perspective of several characters – students, teachers, and a young boy who lives in the nearby town – though the central figure in the story is one whose point of view we never hear: Isobel, a student who died the previous year. The story deals for the most part with the mystery of her death, and with the effect it’s had on the people she left behind – even those who never knew her. And it’s incredibly well-done. Both haunting and a little chilling in tone, Killing the Dead brought to mind books like Susan Hill’s I’m the King of the Castle and William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. A truly fantastic read.
A brief aside: I’m still not entirely certain whether or not this story is supposed to be connected to The Ghosts of Heaven (also by Marcus Sedgwick), since I haven’t actually read that book yet. They certainly have their spiral-imagery in common, and presumably the synopsis of Killing the Dead, which reads “Let the ghosts of heaven tell their story”, is supposed to make you think of that book, but whether they share a setting or any characters remains a mystery to me – and one that I will have to solve as soon as I manage to get hold of a copy of The Ghosts of Heaven.
CURRENT READTHON STATUS: On a roll!
Books Completed: 3
Pages Read: 729
Challenges Competed: 5