Moeller, Jonathan: Child of the Ghosts (The Ghosts) (2011)

Child of the Ghosts
Cover image copyright JC Design
Photograph: iStockPhoto

Being sold by one’s parents for the use of others is a practice that humans have followed for ages. Caina in Child of the Ghosts is an 11-year-old girl who meets this fate. The circumstances surrounding the sale differ greatly from what most children who are bartered experience, but slavery is slavery.

In the time leading up to Caina’s dire fate we read a novel that could be read to fairly young children. For the main part we see meanness, but meanness is part of the human experience. However, during and after her being handed over to her buyers, Caina’s experiences grow brutal. In spite of a fairly young text, my opinion is that the violence in certain parts ups the age level a bit. I have set it at young adult. Again, my recommendation is for an adult to check out the text before letting your child read it by themselves.

Bloodiness aside, Child of the Ghosts shows a side of parenting that is less than pleasant. Caina’s father is a man wanting to protest his wife’s behavior toward Caina without finding the strength to do so. Caina’s mother is ambitious and willing to do anything to get her way.

Oddly enough, Caina finds stability and security once she ends up with the Ghosts – the monarch’s assassins. They are not the people to whom she was sold, but the Ghosts are the ones she ends up with. Her path from then on is fraught with adventure rather than brutality while she learns what being a Ghost entails.

Like most of the other reviews point out, there are annoying mistakes. I imagine finding someone suited to edit your work while self-publishing can be a feat, but as a reader poor editing lessens my desire to read other works by that author. Child of the Ghosts deserves better.

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