Cover of 13 Days of Midnight by Leo Hunt. A creepy white boy stares at the viewer.

About the Book

Title: 13 Days of Midnight
Published: 2015

Cover Story: I Met a Man Who Wasn’t There
Drinking Buddy: Dull Surprise
Testosterone Level: I Ain’t Fraid of No Ghost
Talky Talk: The Talking Dead
Bonus Factor: Mysterious Loner Chick
Bromance Status: The Dead Unpopular Kid

Cover Story: I Met a Man Who Wasn’t There

That boy creeps me the hell out. This must be the British version. My copy looks like this:

Cover of 13 Days of Midnight by Leo Hunt, alternate. A boy stands with his back to the viewer, surrounded by shadowy figures

The Deal:

So sixteen-year-old Luke hasn’t seen his father in years. He lives in the tiny English town of Dunbarrow with his mother, who spends more and more time alone in her room because of ‘migraines.’ Meanwhile, his deadbeat dad is on TV every night with his bogus ghost hunting show. Makes a kid kind of angry.

But one day Luke gets a letter from a lawyer, stating that his father has died and Luke has inherited everything. Like, six million dollars worth of everything. Wow! Looks like those book deals really paid off for Dad.

But Luke soon realizes he inherited something else. Strange guys start following him, guys that no one else can see. Someone keeps breaking into his house to make him breakfast. And what about that weird book Luke’s father also left him?

Oh, turns out Dad was an immensely powerful necromancer, who has enslaved the souls of eight ghosts to do his bidding. Now Luke is the master of the lot. No one but Luke can see them. And they’re kind of hard to control. They don’t like being slaves, and they’re clamoring for release.

Drinking Buddy: Dull Surprise

Two pints of beer cheersing with a "Denied" stamp over them

Luke is a sullen teenager, and pretty much nothing gets a reaction from him.

Your estranged father has died.

Heavy.

He left you millions of dollars.

Cool.

There’s some very angry ghosts hanging around.

That sucks.

Your mother has become enchanted by a vengeful necromancer.

Jerk.

Your body has been possessed by a demon and is running around eating live birds in front of your horrified friends, while you may be trapped as a ghost forever.

Bummer.

Testosterone Level: I Ain’t Fraid of No Ghost

Now these ghosts aren’t exactly Casper. One of them was burned at the stake hundreds of years ago, and he’s still on fire. Another was a skinhead in life. And then there’s The Shepherd. A powerful necromancer in life, he was enslaved by Luke’s father in death.

Now Luke is expected to take charge of this horrifying crew. It’s hard enough for a godlike sorcerer to keep them in line, and they quickly realize Luke has no idea what he’s doing. And he can’t just set them free. Oh no, there are scores to be settled. And since Luke’s father is not around, Luke will have to do.

Halloween is approaching and the ghosts grow more powerful. What the hell is Luke going to do?

Talky Talk: The Talking Dead

So this whole thing climaxes with Luke facing down the Dark Lord. And I don’t mean Tom Riddle. But…

I never really believed it. Luke just didn’t have a whole lot of personality, and looks at the whole ‘my father made an unholy alliance with the forces of evil’ as just another reason why his dad sucks at parenting. And when some of the less evil ghosts beg Luke for help, he just kind of sits there. The demons read more like irritating house guests than monsters who want to swallow his soul.

Bonus Factor: Mysterious Loner Chick

Rochelle, a Black teen witch in The Craft

Elza, that weird Goth chick at school, really doesn’t care for Luke and his lowbrow rugby buddies. But when the ghosts show up…it turns out she has second sight too. And she’s unimpressed with his new crowd of friends. But Elza is a long-time student of the occult, and maybe she can help Luke free himself of his demons…both metaphysical and mental.

Bromance Status: The Dead Unpopular Kid

I’m sorry we weren’t closer when you were around…but now you’re not, so I’ll say pleasant, vaguely complimentary things about you.

Literary Matchmaking

Summoned

Anne M. Pillsworth’s Summoned has a similar vibe.

H.P. Lovecraft

An evil book that dooms its owner? The works of H.P. Lovecraft, anyone?

FTC full disclosure: I received neither money nor the secrets of eternal life for this review. 13 Days of Midnight is available now.

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Brian wrote his first YA novel when he was down and out in Mexico. He now lives in Missouri with his wonderful wife and daughter. He divides his time between writing and working as a school librarian. Brian still misses the preachy YA books of the eighties.