'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 8 January 2021

Review: The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker

The death of a loved one is always a traumatic experience; our only wish is that they have gone to a better place. What if that is only the beginning . . . .

Harriet Stoker dies after falling from a balcony in the long abandoned Mulcure Hall. 

Breaking in, Harriet is determined to discover if the myths about Mulcare Hall are true. Trying to complete her photography assignment, Harriet is distracted by the decaying ruin of the hall and the stories that swirl around her; when she trips and falls several stories to the unforgiving concrete floor.

Waking up, Harriet cannot believe she is dead, until she spots her mangled, bleeding body. Instead she discovers she is now a ghost, along with Felix, Kasper, Rima and Leah. All of whom have special powers.

Eager to make friends with the new arrival after being on their own for decades, the ghosts make her feel welcome.

Harriet becomes obsessed with unleashing her own special power – but at what cost? If she leaves Mulcare Hall she will disintegrate, leaving her trapped like so many other occupants of the hall. Harriet learns these low energy ghosts are called shells. Harriet’s death released energy and extended the lives of the inhabitants of the hall. Her friends inform Harriet that they are the result of 23 students who died at the University’s dorm Mulcare Hall in unexplained circumstances.

An evil spirit lurks in the building with a plan and all the key players are in place. Harriet meets Qi, a powerful spirit who resides in the basement – who teaches Harriet how to absorb energy to feel more powerful. By doing this Harriet discovers her special power is the ability to morph into other people.

Together with the evil Tricksters, Harriet begins a quest for power, feeding the addictive feeling of absorbing energy. But an unexpected source may derail Harriet’s plans and challenge everything she believes in – will it be too late to alter the descent into evil?

Author Lauren James does not disappoint with her latest book, the twists and turns will keep you guessing till the end. 

Title: The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker
Author: Lauren James
Publisher: Walker Books, $18.99  
Publication Date: 2 September 2020
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781406391121
For ages: 14+
Type: Young Adult Fiction