In a world where hauntings are endemic, Rosa Díaz finds herself in a town suspiciously devoid of ghostly activity in Alexander’s (Nomad, 2016, etc.) latest.
Latina protagonist Rosa is not your usual new-to-town middle school student. Rosa is an apprentice appeasement specialist. Her skills in placating restless souls are going to waste in the small town of Ingot, a place where people go to escape their hauntings, not to appease them. The placid lack of supernatural phenomena ends when an angry spirit gate-crashes opening day of the town Renaissance festival embodied in the carcass of a mountain lion. With the help of a new acquaintance, 11-year-old mixed-race (black/white) Jasper, Rosa sets out to solve the mysteries of where the phantom came from and why no others exist in this quaint town. Alexander does an excellent job of building a contemporary world in which the paranormal is nevertheless ubiquitous and expected. This haunted world begs for further exploration. Though it’s a perfectly enjoyable tale on a purely superficial level, readers who choose to dig deeper will find an engrossing exploration of complicated grief and what damage may be wrought when negative emotions are barricaded away rather than addressed.
A fun and fast-paced supernatural mystery with secret depths for those who dare explore them. (Paranormal adventure. 8-12)