________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 18 . . . . January 16, 2015



Gail Gallant.
Toronto, ON: Doubleday Canada, 2014.
270 pp., trade pbk. & eBook, $14.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-0-385-67964-0 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-385-67965-7 (e-book).

Subject Headings:
Ghost stories.
Death-Juvenile fiction.
Secrecy-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 8-12 / Ages 13-17.

Review by Courtney Novotny.

*** /4



"Stop the car! I think we just passed an injured deer. It must have been hit by a car. I think it's still moving. We should call somebody."

Kip is looking in his rear-view mirror. "Nobody else has been by this way since we came. I don't see anything. Where? Which side?"

"There, on the right, back there! On the gravel by the edge of the trees. I didn't notice it when we drove past the first time."

Kip pulls the car over and stops. "Where? I still don't see anything."

I get out of the car. There it is, about two hundred feet back. A deer lying on its side, front legs flailing, head lifting off the ground, then falling back. Now it's struggling to move along the gravel. Dragging itself toward the trees, back into the woods. Pulling itself along with its front legs, its back legs trailing behind. I see it disappearing into the woods.

"Where is it?" Kip's out of the car and standing beside me.

"You didn't see it?"

He shakes his head.

I point down the road. "It kind of dragged itself away on its belly. It's... it's gone now." I strain my eyes. In my last glimpse of the animal pulling itself along the ground, I saw something strange.

"I know this is going to sound crazy, but I think it was wearing a pink jacket."

Mystery, romance, and angst come together in Gail Gallant's latest young adult ghost story, Absolution. Teenage clairvoyant Amelia returns to investigating local ghosts and falling in love with both the dead and the living in Absolution, the sequel to Apparition.

      Absolution picks up after the death of Amelia's close friend, Matthew, and follows Amelia as she navigates a relationship with Matthew's ghost who is possessive and harbours deep feelings for her, all while she tries to maintain a sense of normalcy. Meanwhile, Amelia's feelings continue to grow for Kip, the living son of the local ghost hunter, Morris. Morris works with Amelia to connect with local ghosts that haunt homes, and these encounters involve night ghost watches and cryptic messages. While her relationship with new love interest Kip continues to grow, Amelia struggles with both keeping Matthew's ghost a secret from her friends and family and how to relate to him in ghost form.

      While much of the storyline continues from Apparition, Gallant adds a new mystery for Amelia to solve surrounding a haunting young ghost who resides in the woods along a country road with a history of car accidents involving deer. Each time Amelia passes through this area, readers are kept on edge and in suspense as Amelia collects clues that may or may not bring peace to the ghost.

      While the story can stand alone, readers who enjoyed Apparition and who are looking for more from Amelia's story will enjoy Absolution. The sequel is very similar, but worth a read.


Courtney Novotny is a Community Librarian in Calgary, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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