Thursday, December 10, 2020

Ghosts Never Die (Haunted #2)

Sutherland, Joel. Ghosts Never Die (Haunted #2)
Original title: Kill Screen
1 September 2020, Sourcebooks
Library copy

Evie and her friend Harold are obsessed with the video game Kill Screen. Evie has made it to the highest level but has died in the game over 100 times. When she gets really close to vaporizing the ghost, an action the will let her win the game, she is warned off by another ghost. In real life, Evie can also see ghosts, something that may have developed around the time that her parents died in a car accident. She ignores this, of course, and keeps going, only to find that by defeating the game, she has unleashed a spirit on the world, the Wisp, that intends to kill all of the humans and drag all of the spirits into the Netherworld. The ghost of Leda, a game developed who worked on Kill Screen but was killed in a car accident right before it was released, was the ghost who tried to warn Evie about the Wisp, and helps the two friends investigate the workings of the game, and the myths and legends behind it, so that they can save the world from destruction. Will they be able to figure things out before it is too late?
Strengths: The Nightmare Next Door was definitely one of the new books that got checked out right away; when my students came back in person, they all wanted creepy books! This also involves video games, which I appreciated, because I am sure they are all set to kill us all and are not good for anyone! (And yes, I know fully well that this dates me!) One of my favorite parts of this was Leda, working with the children to outline how she developed the game. Man, don't mess around with chants to summon spirits. Just don't do it! 
Weaknesses: This is a series, and the Wisp shows up again, but I haven't paid close enough attention to how all of the books work together. It would have been nice to have numbers on the spine already, since it is a series. 
What I really think: I am not a fan of horror books, but I really enjoyed this series. I'm glad to have it in my library, but wish it had been published in hard back! I offer up two shelves of R.L. Stine prebinds that are little more than crumbling paper as proof. The stories are still good, but the vehicle delivering them is completely unappealing. 
Ms. Yingling

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