Early Book Review: Ghost Prison by Joseph Delaney

Ghost Prison by Joseph Delaney is a new horror story from the international bestselling author of the Last Apprentice series, which is soon to be a major motion picture. This illustrated novella is all about Fifteen-year-old Billy. He is an orphan newly assigned to guard a castle prison. However, this prison hosts more than just the typical criminals.The ghosts of executed prisoners haunt the place. When Billy is given the task of feeding the prisoner in The Witch Well a ghostly trick could have deadly consequences for young Billy.

Ghost Prison is a dark novella which will be released on October 8 2013, just in time for Halloween. There are black and white illustrations throughout the story to show the prison, its guards, and its horrors to its readers. The words do a splendid job of framing the mood and giving the readers a mental picture, but the illustrations just make everything more concrete. Billy is a sympathetic character, an orphan stuck working in a prison, and somehow requested to work the night shift by a resident ghost. To make matters worse there is a mysterious prisoner that he is warned against going near, terrible stories about things that have happened in the past, and the atmosphere that goes with working in a place with that many ghost stories. A perfect storm of coincidences brings Billy into the range of the Witch Well, and an ending that is not quite what you might expect.

Ghost Prison is a great spooky read for older elementary school students right up through adults. There are some good scares, but no moments of serious violence. At 112 pages, this book would work well for reluctant of challenged readers that are easily put off by thicker books. It will hold the interest of anyone looking for a good scare. I think a Halloween story time or serialized reading during class or at home around Halloween would be fantastic.
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