Amy Wilson’s latest fantasy adventure story again showcases her skill in creating magical worlds and memorable characters. The atmospheric setting grips the reader from the very first sentence. Lightning Falls is a Ghost House, built by a looming viaduct over a thundering waterfall and next to a cemetery. The house has both living and ghostly inhabitants whose job it is to provide a haunting experience for the guests who come to stay. Valerie has been living at Lightning Falls since she was found abandoned by the crypt as a tiny child by the owner of the Ghost House. She happily helps her ghost family with their haunting escapades, but there is something different about Valerie. Her ghost family call her a ‘Hallowed Ghost’, but why can she taste and feel and grow older when the other ghosts cannot? When Valerie meets a mysterious boy, Joe, who claims to be from another world, she begins a dangerous journey of discovery into the truth behind her past and identity. Together with Joe and her ghost sister Meg, Valerie crosses the rainbow bridge under the river to another world, Orbis, a world under threat from disappearing magic, and Valerie’s true home. As Valerie’s two world worlds begin to collide and collapse into sparkling star showers, she must battle to save both her birth and adopted families.
This skilfully written novel is gripping and enchanting from the start and succeeds brilliantly in combining the elements of ghost, fantasy, and adventure stories together with themes of family, friendship, identity and belonging. Valerie is a strong and appealing character who gradually grows into her power and solves the mystery of her past. Her love for her found ghost family, as well as her lost birth family, is beautifully conveyed. This is a heart-warming, captivating story, sparkling with magic and mystery, that will enthral readers.