Ghoulish Song by William Alexander

Hannibal is a wiggly dog.
Hannibal is a wiggly dog.

Why I Read It: The previous book, Goblin Secrets, was incredibly good.

Where I Got It: A review copy from the publisher (thanks!)

Who I Recommend This To: Great fun for adults and kids if you are stuck in a car for a bit.

Narrator: William Alexander

Publisher: Simon & Schuster (2013)

Length: 4 CDs

Series: Book 2 Zombay series

This book takes place at the same time and location as Book 1, Goblin Secrets, but is Kaile’s story. She is the daughter of a baker and inn owner, a big sister, and lover of music. One hectic morning, on Inspection Day for bread quality, she agrees to allow a troupe of goblins perform in the main room in the afternoon. The day flies by and before she knows it, the goblins are setting up for their performance. All goes well until her mother sees the troupe and orders her father to kick them out. Curses are called down upon the family, and then rescinded when Kaile offers the troupe the best bread of the day – the bread saved for the inspector. The goblin leader gifts her with a bone flute. And this is where the true fun starts. Kaile no longer has a shadow, and her family believes her dead. She must then embark on a quest to reunite with her shadow, discover who made the flute, and perhaps help save the town from flooding.

I absolutely loved Book 1 in this series. I know, I can be a little kid sometimes. Book 2 was nearly as good and I quite enjoyed myself. Ghoulish Song gives us more of the steampunk flair, going into how the Inspector weighs and measures the quality of the bread loaves with his mechanic arms and eyes. the loss of a shadow, something we never think of, and how it throws Kaile’s life into a spin was inventive and entertaining. The enchanted flute and the monsters and wonders Kaile faces with it kept me thoroughly engaged during a long car ride. While we didn’t learn anything further about the goblins, it was nice to see them here and there throughout the story.

I enjoyed the first book slightly more for 2 reasons: the world was new and fresh to me, full of wonder; and the ending was more satisfying because not everything turned out 100% OK. With that said, this book is still worth your time. It had me laughing out loud and nudging my man, who was also stuck in the car with me, whenever a plot point was revealed. My man found this unnecessary as he was fully paying attention too. Yes, he can be lured into listening to a little kid book if it is William Alexander.

Our narrator, who was also the author, gave yet another great performance. I sometimes steer clear of books read by the author, as they don’t always accomplish both with great ability. In William Alexander’s case, he is not only an entertaining read, he is a most excellent listen. The different characters are distinct, the hushes and exclamations, the hurried phrases, and slow thoughtfulness all come through clearly with his performance.

OnceUponATime7What I Liked: Steampunk goodness; fresh baked bread; the mystery of the bone flute was chilling; the importance of arts in the health of a community; Kaile’s shadow has needs.

What I Disliked: This is a very minor point, but I enjoyed the slightly rougher ending of Book 1 more than the ending to this book. This point will not stop me from enjoying this book again in the future.

This is the season for Fantasy goodness over at Stainless Steel Droppings, who is hosting the reading event Once Upon A Time. Come get your fantasy fix and join int he fun!

2 thoughts on “Ghoulish Song by William Alexander”

  1. I remember your review for book No.1 – still sounds pretty good even with your point about the ending. Is that the end now or are there more books to come?
    Lynn :

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