by Marcus Sedgwick
Age Range: 12 - 18 years
Grade Level: 7 and up
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (January 6, 2015)
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Timeless, beautiful, and haunting, spirals connect the four episodes of The Ghosts of Heaven, the mesmerizing new novel from Printz Award winner Marcus Sedgwick. They are there in prehistory, when a girl picks up a charred stick and makes the first written signs; there tens of centuries later, hiding in the treacherous waters of Golden Beck that take Anna, who people call a witch; there in the halls of a Long Island hospital at the beginning of the 20th century, where a mad poet watches the oceans and knows the horrors it hides; and there in the far future, as an astronaut faces his destiny on the first spaceship sent from earth to colonize another world. Each of the characters in these mysterious linked stories embarks on a journey of discovery and survival; carried forward through the spiral of time, none will return to the same place.
The Ghosts of Heaven is unlike any book I have ever read, and in a good way. It fuses historic elements with intriguing stories and real-life events and conflicts. It makes you think a bit; each detail isn’t placed in front of you directly through the text. Every once in a while, these types of stories are extremely refreshing to read. Some can feel a bit too vague, but The Ghosts of Heaven perfectly balances character actions with thoughts: you get some thoughts, but just enough to the point where you can piece together the rest.
The second half of this novel is what made me so fond of it. Along with connecting each story to the others, they were my favorite parts within the book. However, each individual story was unique in its own way. Seeing them all continue to be linked to completely different scenarios throughout history was remarkable.
Overall, this novel never ceased to amaze me. I highly suggest reading this one.