A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.

I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.

I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.

I also blog about
graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

Friday, October 1, 2010

201. Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel

Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel (Canada) - (USA)

Pages: 268
Ages: 12+
Finished: Sept. 25, 2010
First Published: July 1, 2010
Publisher: Graphix
Genre: graphic novel, YA, paranormal
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

Ladies and gentlemen, we're having a little engine trouble.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Scholastic Canada.

Reason for Reading: I'm always intrigued by stories that take place in the "afterlife".

Frank Gallows is a ghost wrangler. He hunts down ghosts who've escaped the afterlife and sends them back but after 30 years on the job he's losing his touch, bored and plain grumpy with life. Sent to track down a night mare, the skeletal horse is on the run. As she goes through a wall, Frank shackles her and hit's the send button. Problem: on the other side of the wall the skeletal mare had en-caged a human boy, Garth, and he ends up in the afterlife with her. As headquarters sets up a team to rescue him, Frank and his ex-girlfriend, a ghost, go after him themselves. They find Ghostopolis, the city centre of the afterlife, greatly changed and dominated by Vaugner, an evil, powerful human-type being. Garth, Frank and Claire must find a way back to the mortal world and since Vaugner is trying to stop them at every turn they must first stop him.

I found the story a little hard to get into as it starts right away with the action and it takes a bit to figure out what is going on. Plus the artwork was a little startling, the artist's depiction of people are on the ugly side of ugly. Once the plot became clearer, I started to enjoy the book and once the artist had the opportunity to add action scenes with non-human characters to the illustrations, I became more comfortable with the style and even enjoyed it by book's end.

The story has several layers to it: a grown man with the behaviour of a child learns to grow up on the inside, a man who can't express his love outwardly makes the ultimate sacrifice to earn the love he craved and power and the begetting of power for power's sake can only lead to evil in the end, to name a few. Then there is the basic plot which is both exciting and fun. The book is quite dark though, death being the main theme here; my 10yo certainly couldn't handle it. Along the way Garth and company meet killer insects, skeletal armies, zombies, mummies and some other very strange characters. There is humour added to lighten up the darkness mostly in the form of sarcasm and wit, though there is some outright grossness to make you laugh (or cringe) too such as the delicacy of tarantula on a stick and an ancient fortune telling wolf who is blind and tells the future through smells and happens to "toot".

At well over 200 pages there is a lot of story and characterization to be found in this simple story of good vs. evil and redemption for those who seek it.


  1. Great review. The title really fooled me- I thought it would have been a much different story, and maybe a little on the lighter side, but it really does sound very dark. Thanks for sharing it though!

  2. This sounds intriguing. I have been sort of moving away from graphic novels lately, but when I get back into them I must give this a try!

  3. Suzanne - it wasn't what I had been expecting either but that turned out to be a good thing in the end for me, as I quite enjoyed it.

    Kailana - I'm addicted! I just can't stop with the GN's right now and I'm on the Cybils panel again this year so I'm going to be drowning in them soon! Bwahahahaha!