Gap year in Ghost Town by Michael Pryor
Allen and Unwin, 2017. ISBN 9781760292768
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Ghosts. Humour. Melbourne. Anton Marin lives with his father in Melbourne. The Marin family own a small bookstore and he has taken a gap year, trying to decide if he will join the family business of ghost hunting. He has the ability to ease a ghost's path to the next world. Rani Cross is a member of the Company of the Righteous, and she doesn't ease a ghost's passage to the other world, rather she uses her sword. When they meet, they don't agree about how ghosts should be handled but Melbourne is under siege with a huge increase in the number of violent ghost manifestations and these supernatural forces have to be controlled. With his father and friend Bec helping out, Anton joins forces with Rani and the four of them work to protect the people of Melbourne.
The setting of Melbourne will thrill readers who come from Victoria and other readers will be fascinated by glimpses of this interesting city. There are snippets of information and descriptions that bring the city to life and it provides a perfect background for the ghostly appearances that take place.
There is action galore for those who like a fast paced read, but what I enjoyed most was the snappy humour of Anton's very amusing dialogue and the platonic friendship between him and Bec and the friendship that flourished between Bec and Rani. It was refreshing not to have the inevitable love triangle in a book and the characters were interesting enough to keep the reader engrossed as the group battled the ghosts.
There is plenty of scope for more books to follow Gap year in Ghost Town and I look forward to reading about this intrepid group working together to battle any danger that may come their way from ghosts.