Age Range
Release Date
September 06, 2022
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Kidnapped and forced to shovel coal underground, in a half-bombed power station, 12-year-old Luke Smith-Sharma keeps his head down and hopes he can earn his freedom from the evil Tabitha Margate. Then one day he discovers he can see things that others can’t. Ghostly things. A ghostly girl named Alma, who can bend the shape of clouds to her will and rides them through the night sky. With Alma’s help, Luke discovers his own innate powers and uncovers the terrible truth of why Tabatha is kidnapping children and forcing them to shovel coal. Desperate to escape, Luke teams up with Alma, his best friend Ravi, and new girl Jess. Can Luke and his friends get away before they each become victims to a cruel and sinister scheme?

Editor review

1 review
Bridging the gap between the living and dead.
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
The premise is very creative, as it takes a look at ghosts from a different viewpoint. Some ghosts linger with the living by connecting to objects or places. Ghostcloud refers to ghostly characters in the book who are connected to the air. Alma meets Luke, the main character, and soon realizes he’s also a ghostcloud, and a half-ghost, since his heart stopped beating for a minute at childbirth. Half-ghosts are extremely rare and this opens up many possibilities for this character. His soul is able to travel anywhere air flows so he’s able to explore places outside of his body. He discovers a possible way to escape, but that creates new questions. The author presents ingenious concepts regarding ghosts, their origins, and their abilities.
The setting for this dystopian novel is London sometime in the future. Luke and his friends are slaves and spend most of their time digging coal for a cruel, ruthless woman named Tabatha, but a new girl named Jess has special knowledge of plumbing. She discovers there’s something different about the pipes and the incinerator inside Battersea which creates a mystery as to what’s really going on. Luke has a love and talent for solving mysteries, so figuring out what’s going on and finding a way to escape are within his wheelhouse. The author slowly provides clues allowing readers to discover Tabatha’s evil plans and this problem becomes the focus of the plot. It’s an innovative problem that’s ruthless and malevolent.
Jess is the most interesting character in the book. She always has a positive attitude and doesn’t allow her circumstances to bring her down. It becomes a bit of a joke later in the story. Jess constantly notices inconsistencies inside Battersea that cause the characters to consider new ideas. She trusts Luke completely and is willing to take risks to support him. Physically, she seems very fragile and Luke is worried about her survival as a digger. However, her courage and loyalty to Luke make her an indispensable friend.
What didn’t work as well:
The title doesn’t indicate this book is the start of a series but the resolution leaves unanswered questions that seem to indicate a sequel will be coming. The book is still highly entertaining but the ending may leave readers wanting more.
The Final Verdict:
It’s refreshing and unexpected to come across a book with such original literary thoughts. Luke is an appealing main character with a pure and endearing personality. The story will appeal to lovers of ghosts and underdogs and I highly recommend you give it a shot.
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