Embassy of the Dead by Will Mabbitt, illustrated by Taryn Knight. Walker Books, 2020. 9781536210477
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
What did you like about the book? It seems there are more and more middle grade horror offerings, and this marvelously creepy title is a great one to add to the genre. Twelve year old Jake is taking a short cut home from school one day through a dark alley. A tall solemn man in a dusty overcoat and top hat appears out of nowhere and gives him a box, then disappears. When Jake looks inside, he discovers a wrinkly old severed finger! His life begins to change immediately, as forces of evil search for the finger and Jake. The tall man, Stiffkey, resurfaces and ends up an ally in an epic flight to right the wrong delivery of the finger, and to prevent it from getting into the hands of the frightening reapers. They are joined by a poltergeist named Cora and a lonely fox ghost named Zorro. Elegant prose with a hint of wry humor and a briskly moving plot combine to make this hard to put down. The black and white mixed media vignettes complement the text perfectly.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? For horror lovers, ages 8-12.
Who should buy this book? Elementary and middle school and public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Fiction
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Maybe
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: December 12, 2020