The Almshouse: The Spirit World Series Book One
By Blanche King
The cover of this book looks very sinister and even a little intimidating but it’s actually a little on the sweet side. The Almshouse centers on a twelve-year-old girl named Julia and her life as a ghost. I wasn’t really expecting that but I’m glad I stuck with the story because it became more and more interesting with every page I turned.
Julia passes away and awakens in a new realm, one ruled by spirits who are kind of stuck in between death and the afterlife. They aren’t ‘alive’ but they haven’t passed on to heaven or been taken away by the Grim Reapers. That was a surprising aspect of the book that made it a little dark but in a way that definitely added more body to the story. Reapers are something you don’t see in every other supernatural story so I was pleasantly surprised by their appearance here.
The mystery in the book is this house that keeps burning down and taking the families inside with it. Because she’s now a spirit, Julia is free to roam within the house visiting the lost souls who’d lived there before. She attempts to solve the mystery of the house but is met with obstacles she must overcome along the way. I like to think of this as a PG version of American Horror Story.
The characters in this book were very well developed, especially Julia. She was sweet and played her role well as both the protagonist and narrator. Although she was only twelve, she had a very mature voice and I had no complaints following her throughout the book. I’m not usually a fan of books about younger characters but I’m definitely glad I agreed to read this piece. King is a great writer and I look forward to reading more from this author. 4-stars for a few too many errors but this still stands as a book I would highly recommend to readers of all ages and interests.
The Almshouse is sweet, Julia grows and develops very much throughout the story but there is definitely a dark side here. Other than the Reapers, much of the story takes place in this spirit realm and deals with a good amount of death. If you like dark fiction, then this book will interest you.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*