Super funny, super spooky MG for budding horror fans about a talkative skull and a necromancer-in-training – perfect for Lemony Snicket readers!
Mallory Vayle would list her interests as being normal, books about ponies and very definitely NOT talking to dead people. But when her parents’ carriage takes a leap off Gibbett Bridge – an accident for which there appears to be no explanation – she is taken in by a strange aunt the family disowned years ago and brought to her new, and very spooky, home. Aunt Lilith, a charlatan psychic, is quick to monetise Mallory’s prodigious skills in talking to dead people and starts to advertise grand seances (ticketed obvs) in her spiritual news sheet.
The ghosts of her parents also take up residence in the house but are cruelly snatched away by the shadow of Hellysh Spatzl, the grimmest, wickedest necromancer in all of history. To get them back, Mallory will have to learn how to use the talents she hates and raise the old hag from the dead. Her teacher? A talking skull called Maggoty, who wants some favours in return for his help – not just a gorgeous blond wig and some sparkly earrings, but for Mallory to break the curse that has left his spirit locked inside his own skull for 500 years.
Mallory will have to lean into who she is and what she can do and make a pack with the evil Hellysh Spatzl to get her parents back while at the same time putting on a sensational Halloween spectacular at only five shillings a head for an amazed audience at Nightmare Castle. And learn to love her chatty sidekick and his glorious wig…
As darkly hilarious as The Addams Family, this is really good fun. An alternative spooky Victoriana packed with laughs and outrageous characters, at its heart, it’s a story of a young girl coming to terms with her own gifts and accepting that nobody is ‘normal’.