Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Dead Boy Detectives: Vol 2: Ghost Snow (2015)

Author: Toby Litt  |  Illustrators: Mark Buckingham / Gary Erskine  |  Page Count: 160

'I saw my best friend, Rosa, taken by an evil ghost. I was eight.
No one believed me.'

Vol 1: Schoolboy Terrors (2014) left some pretty fantastical threads in need of gathering at its climax. Volume 2 picks them all up and weaves them into a tapestry that has the present represented on one side and the past on the other; Charles’ past, to be specific. I said last time that the boys love a mystery; that’s still true, but for Charles the feeling has gotten more complicated because it’s his family that is the mystery and he’s a piece of the puzzle. He fears what he’ll discover if he starts the digging process, and he fears what he’ll become if he doesn't. The truth can hurt even when you’re dead.

One of the most significant of the aforementioned threads was the one that connected to the Neitherlands. Events there run concurrently with events back on Earth as Charles and Edwin make some new friends. The new characters have a significant role to play, and even though they're dropped into a story that's already under way, they're well-rounded (i.e. well-written) enough to hold their own, even the two feuding philosopher kittens.

I enjoyed Ghost Snow a little more than I did Schoolboy Terrors, but it was largely due to having a solid background already in place, and I suspect that when I go back and re-read them both in one sitting then the collective score will be at least equal the one given below, or perhaps even higher.

Sadly, it concludes the short run of the revived series. Like many of the Sandman offshoots it didn't outstay its welcome, it left me wanting more. (Shut up, wallet!)

The book collects together Dead Boy Detectives issues 7-12 (The End... for now?).

4 faithful poppets out of 5

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