Thirteen Days of Midnight by Leo Hunt
Publisher: Orchard Books
Released: July 2nd 2015
My Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
When Luke Manchett's estranged father dies suddenly, he leaves his son a dark inheritance. Luke has been left in charge of his father's ghost collection: eight restless spirits. They want revenge for their long enslavement, and in the absence of the father, they're more than happy to take his son. It isn't fair, but you try and reason with the vengeful dead.
Halloween, the night when the ghosts reach the height of their power, is fast approaching. With the help of school witchlet Elza Moss, and his cowardly dog Ham, Luke has just thirteen days to uncover the closely guarded secrets of black magic, and send the unquiet spirits to their eternal rest. The alternative doesn't bear thinking about. (from Goodreads)
Thirteen Days of Midnight was an enjoyable start to a series, and while it lacked depth at times, I was intrigued enough to want to continue and I’m looking forward to reading book two.
Luke was an interesting main character, though I do think he could have been developed just a little bit more. I liked that he didn’t adjust to these ghosts well and that he didn’t want this legacy his father had left him, but I did want to know a little more about his thoughts on the ghosts he had inherited and maybe just see more of his inner thoughts in general. He didn’t seem to want to know anything about necromancy or The Book of Eight - I would have been at least a little curious (though to be fair, if I were being attacked night and day by restless spirits, I probably would want nothing to do with any of it either). I think Luke handled the situation quite well. Even when things kept going wrong, and he was tricked and hurt and suffered through a bunch of horrible things, he was determined to find a way to free these ghosts from their ties to him so he could be left alone (and he managed to retain his sense of humour throughout). I am very curious to find out what Luke will do in the next book, considering the lengths he resorted to in this one. I also want to see how Luke explains away his behaviour to his friends, because they pretty much all thought he was crazy and dangerous by the end of this one. I know they weren’t the greatest of friends, but it would be nice to see him interact with other people besides Elza.
Not that I didn’t like Elza, because I did. The way people treated her was unfair and I felt for her. Plus, Luke would have been dead ten times over without her help. She knew a bit about spirits and the like (she was able to see them since birth) and so was the only person who could actually tell Luke what was going on, seeing as no-one else knew anything was out of the ordinary. The two grew closer as they tried to figure out what to do, and while the romance was very light (because a lot of romance would have seemed very out of place in this book), I did like seeing them get to know each other and like each other more. Elza and Luke sort of balanced each other out, and I hope things work out for them in the future.
Plot-wise, some things were a little confusing, especially the stuff about the roles of each spirit, why some of them hated Luke so much, and why having eight was the strongest combination. However, most likely a lot of this wasn’t explored due to Luke’s reluctance to learn necromancy, so I think we’ll get more explanation in the next book. The ghosts themselves all had very different personalities and I’ll be interested to see [minor spoiler, highlight to read] if any return and side with Luke in the future [end of spoiler]. I did guess that something shady was going on with Luke’s dad, but my God, that man! He was awful. AWFUL. I don’t think I would have [minor spoiler] been able to do what Luke did in the end, I think the dad deserved the punishment [end of spoiler] but I guess it made for a more exciting ending, so we’ll have to see what happens next!
Overall, Thirteen Days of Midnight was a good, solid read, and I recommend it to people who like books about ghosts and necromancy.