Saturday, 7 May 2011

Ministry of Pandemonium by Chris Westwood

March 2011, Frances Lincoln
384 pages, Paperback 
Review copy 

Children's 10+ 

Content: concept of grim reaper, death, mystery, hospitals, friendship, coping with family tragedies, a bit of violence, some gore 

Summary from Frances Lincoln
When Ben Harvester meets the mysterious Mr October in Highgate Cemetery, nothing could have prepared him for the strange and dramatic turn his life is about to take.

Soon Mr October is leading him towards his true calling - his work at the Ministry of Pandemonium, helping to guide the dead to the afterlife. 

But Ben quickly discovers that there are terrifying forces keen to thwart the work of the Ministry and lead the newly-dead astray. And when Ben's mum suddenly becomes seriously ill, he questions whether he can continue with the important job he has been given.

Reasons for loving Ben: Although he loves morbid topics, he has a good heart and wants to do what's right, even if it has disastrous consequences.

Is there another character that deserves a special mention? Yes - Becky, a new friend who manages to weave her way into most aspects of Ben's life. She's plucky and has an attitude I can relate to. 

How evil/nasty is the enemy: Very - so much so I debated stopping reading even though it was daytime. 

Are there plenty of plot twists and surprises? Yes! Some really big ones. 

One of my favourite parts was...when Ben does what he think is right, even though it goes against the 
instructions that he's been given. He has to deal with the consequences but does so with maturity.

Overall grade: 9/10 

Find out more about Pandemonium and Chris's other work on his website

Suggested reading
Changeling by Steve Feasey deals with lots of strange otherworld creatures alongside werewolves

My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent: more dealings with death and concept of grim reapers

No comments: