Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Book Shelf: Gap Year in Ghost Town by Michael Pryor

Let's get this straight - ghosts are everywhere. I can see them. You can't. And, see them or not, they're dangerous. This is why my family has hunted ghosts for hundreds of years to protect people like you.

The Marin family are outcasts of the ghost hunting world. They run a two-man operation in inner city Melbourne. Anton has the Ghost-sight, but his father does not.

Rani Cross is supremely skilled in hand-to-hand combat, with enhanced speed and strength thanks to her magical initiation into the Company of the Righteous.

When it comes to ghost-hunting methodology, Anton and Rani don't see eye to eye - Anton likes to 'ease their passage' to the next world, while Rani's all about the slashing.

But Melbourne is under threat; with a massive spike in violent ghost manifestations, Anton and Rani must find a way to work together to keep supernatural forces at bay.

And what with all the blindingly terrifying brushes with death, Anton must decide if he really wants in on the whole ghost hunting biz anyway.

More info on Goodreads.....


Gap Year in Ghost Town by Australian author Michael Pryor is a ghostly tale of adventure and danger set amongst a Melbourne backdrop. 

Anton Marin is a member of a long line of descendants capable of seeing ghosts and who have spent their lives hunting them down and helping them move on. Living with his father and running a used book-shop in the heart of Melbourne, Anton spends his nights searching for ghosts and is used to taking the gentle approach with exorcising them. Until he meets sword welding, British expat Rani Cross on assignment from London. Rani's approach to ghost hunting is more slash first, ask questions never. The Marin family are anomalies in the ghost hunting world and the organization Rani works for is sure their way is right, but with a massive spike in ghosts threatening society, Anton and Rani must work together to stop the ghosts from hurting innocent people, even if it means acknowledging that not everything is black and white.

I have to be honest; I really wanted to adore this novel, I did. I went into it looking for something fresh and with an open mind, and although there were parts of Gap Year in Ghost Town I appreciated, it was a struggle for me to read this novel all the way through. While Michael Pryor is clearly a talented writer and has a decent writing style, I feel like Gap Year in Ghost Town could have been condensed with the majority of the dialogue removed and you wouldn't loose anything within the story. 

Anton's personality is all sarcasm and sass, but what began as endearing in the beginning of the novel quickly became grating to me. I could totally see what Pryor was going for and it may work for some people, but for me so much of the conversations seemed unnecessary and overly witty that it all fell on deaf ears. It grew tiresome quickly and I just wanted to skip over a lot of the dialogue to get to important parts of the story which seemed far and few in between as it was. 

That being said, I enjoyed all the Melbourne and Australian culture thrown into Gap Year in Ghost Town. There was a lot of pop-culture references throughout the story with a detailed and poignant Melbourne setting. Ghosts bring a scary element to the story and a spooky undertone to Anton and Rani's adventures. 

Overall, this novel wasn't to my liking, but I can see how Gap Year in Ghost Town would appeal to other readers and would recommend you check it out if you're looking for a witty ghost hunting tale with an Australian urban twist. 

Source: Sent for review by publisher (Thank you guys!) 

Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP: $19.99
Release Date: July 26th 2017
Purchase: Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon 
Final Thoughts: Unfortunately Gap Year in Ghost Town just wasn't for me.....


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