By: Melanie | November 26, 2014 | (21) Comments

Featuring The Ghosts of Heaven and a Very Confused MelThe Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Release Date: October 2, 2014
Pages: 423
Source: Received in exchange for review
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The spiral has existed as long as time has existed.

It's there when a girl walks through the forest, the moist green air clinging to her skin. There centuries later in a pleasant greendale, hiding the treacherous waters of Golden Beck that take Anna, who they call a witch. There on the other side of the world as a mad poet watches the waves and knows the horrors the hide, and far into the future as Keir Bowman realises his destiny.

Each takes their next step in life. None will ever go back to the same place. And so, their journeys begin...

A bold, genre-bending epic that chronicles madness, obsession, and creation, from the Paleolithic era through the Witch Hunts and into the space-bound future.

I wouldn’t really call this a review, because this is more like me spilling everything that is going on in my head in relation to this book. Celine will be doing a proper review of it very early on next year, so keep an eye out for that. Spoiler: she loved it.



So here is my first taste of Marcus Sedgwick’s writing. And my thoughts on it? I like his writing style verrah much. I’ve heard that this style it distinct from most other YA authors, and I must agree. His prose is equal parts beautiful and deep; however, I’m not really sure if his style works for me as a reader.

The Ghosts of Heaven has me very confused. And by this, I mean that I have no idea what to think of it, which is the main reason why I cannot really give a proper review for this book. I loved it, in many senses, but also felt detached towards each of the story lines. Yes, that was a plural. This book consists of 4 separate stories that seem completely different from one and another on the surface. They’re all set during different time phases and are of different genres, yet, in a totally weird and witty way, the stories are connected and similar from one and another. You can read the book in any order you want, but being me, I started off with the first story.

Whispers in the Dark (the first story), I admit I didn’t finish because I struggled with the first third of it. I do love reading verse, but in this case, the style wasn’t my cup of tea. The prose is very simple and tells a story of a young woman during the prehistoric times that deals with some magical elements. The Witch in the Water was my number one favourite out of the 4 stories. It involves another young woman in a world where witches are hunted and evil lurks at every corner. The ending took me by surprise, and I’m still not sure if I hate or love how it ended. The Easiest Room in Hell was probably most intriguing. It’s set in a asylum and hits closer to today as it is set in the 1900’s. It’s an insane read, so pretty much perfect for me. Definitely my second favourite. The Song of Destiny fell rather flat for me. This story was set on a spaceship which is making its way to another earth. In all, these stories were all very engaging reads, but when I stop and think, I don’t really know what to think of them as a whole.

Three gifs that sum up how I felt during The Ghosts of Heaven?

Firstly, I’m not sure how to rate this book. I mean, it sounds bad when I say that I DNFed the book, when I read 3/4 of the stories, and the story I didn’t read, I read 1/3. Basically, I didn’t read about 60 pages out of the 423 that The Ghosts of Heaven is. Moreover, I liked  some stories, I hated some others. HOW DOES ONE RATE THIS KIND OF BOOK?

Furthermore, I didn’t really get the book until a day or two after finishing the read. Heck, I’m still not sure if I truly get it. I guess it’s really up to yourself on how you interpret and think of this book in the end. It’s just one of those reads that mess with your brain and leave you in a puddle of confusion and total awe simultaneously. It’s a witty read, I’ll give it that.

ALSO, HOW DOES ONE SHELVE THIS BOOK? This book has so many genres mixed in. We have paranormal witches, mad asylums, futuristic sci-fi and hunter gatherers from the pre-historic times. It’s totally crazy. But of course…if you like that kinda thing. *hands you ze book*

Personally, I don’t think any book has made me felt like this before. And by “felt like this”, I mean confused, awed, amazed, even more confused. JUST ALL OVER THE PLACE. I definitely recommend every just give the book a go, because it’s just a really weird (in a good way) read.

~Thank you Hachette Australia for sending me this copy!~

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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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21 Responses to Featuring The Ghosts of Heaven and a Very Confused Mel

  1. I love Sedgwick. Basically anything he writes I will completely devour. Seeing your confusion and awe is kinda prompting me to read this book RIGHT NOW.

    If you’d like to try his work again, I wholeheartedly recommend Midwinterblood. This is also a collection of short stories (though these have to be read in order) that are connected to one another. They’re all set on this same magical island but at different periods in history. It’s beautiful once it all comes together.

    Side note: I absolutely looooove the images of the book included here. Beautiful!
    Bekka @ Great Imaginations recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Winter TBRMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Ooh, I do really want to try Midwinterblood. I do love Sedgwick’s writing, I guess I was just a little put off by the confusingness and the plot lines in this case. And yes, isn’t this book just gorgeous? I’d gladly eat it if it were food.

  2. YOU SEE, THIS FEAR OF BEING CONFUSED IS WHAT’S HOLDING ME BACK. I don’t like the idea of being able to read the four stories in whatever order. I want a distinct “do this, do this, do this” because I don’t think I’m smart enough to understand the whole creative genius that this is supposed to portray. I just don’t think I’ll be able to comprehend it at all, despite loving beautiful prose. I just couldn’t do it. BUT THE HARDCOVER IS SO PRETTY. And BLUE SIDE PAGE THINGS OMG I live for coloured sides, to be honest. Fantastic not really review, either way, Mel! I can see why this one could leave someone cloudy! <3 x
    Jess @My Reading Dress recently posted…Why Am I So Eloquent In Negative Reviews?My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Thanks Jess 😀 Yep, I was pretty confused but only more the reason for you to read it and discover its secrets together with me! Yeah, I read the stories in order in which they were presented, because I hate thinking that I’m doing it wrong or something hah.

  3. I’m part timid, part excited to read this one. I’ve read one Sedgwick book and I really enjoyed it but I’m a tad nervous about the being confused part. I’ve heard mostly good things about it so I think I’ll move it up the TBR pile since I need to see what I’ll think.
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…Review of This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan SpoonerMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Hahha, well it may have just been me, Kristen. Maybe it’s me and my young not mature enough mind or something. I do like how this book has me thinking though 😀 I look forward to reading your thoughts, girl!

  4. I haven’t read anything by this author yet either. I think I should start with another book. this one sounds interesting, but who knows what I’ll think?
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Zulily: Great Deals on Awesome Gifts!My Profile

  5. Very confusing. I think part of me would like this and the other half is not so sure. I have heard good things about this author and not so good, I think he is one that appeals to a select audience. I was tempted to try this but passed.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Review: As Long As You Love Me (2B#2) by Ann AguirreMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah, that’s what I’ve heard. I do hope intensely that I’m not one of those people who don’t like his works at all, because this actually did work for me on many levels.

  6. THIS BOOK SOUNDS SO AWESOME BUT SO CONFUSING…and it’s so beautiful. I’m going to buy it just so I can stare at it (and maybe read it) one day. Loved reading your thoughts on this one, Mel! I’ll be on the look out for Celine’s review before I decide whether I should put this on my TBR or not.
    Ebony @ Daring Damsels recently posted…Review – Belzhar by Meg WolitzerMy Profile

  7. Valerie says:

    Hahahah maybe you could shelve this as an anthology, but then it really isn’t one? I think technically it’s a DNF because you didn’t finish one of the stories and since they are all connected, it’s technically a book? Oh well. I hope your next read is better Mel 😛
    Valerie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #32My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah, I dunno. It sounds bad when I say that I DNFed it, especially when I actually did like the book partially, just very confused and not too attached to the plot lines. LOL. Whatever, I’d say.

  8. Amelia K says:

    Hmm…you have me very curious, Mel. I can see why you got a confused with this book, and damn, it’s making me want to give it a go for myself! I probably will, especially because that cover is looking damn fine and I need those blue pages in my life, please. Loved the ‘review’, gurl xD

    • Melanie says:

      Yes, it’s worth taking another look at, Amelia. I say you should check out Celine’s review when it goes live to give you a more solid idea, heh. But yes, IT’S GORGEOUS. The blue pages are life, basically.


    He is seriously the best author ever, and I highly recommend you try Midwinterblood and She is Not Invisble, which are definitely in my top 10 favourite books of this year. His writing style is definitely unique, and if you like his writing here, then I’m sure these will work for you too.

    Nice post and pics!

    • Melanie says:

      Oh, I never knew that you were such a fan, Johanna! I did borrow She is Not Invisible from the library about 2 times this year but both times I didn’t get the opportunity to actually read it. I think I’ll need to fix that for next year! Thank you. 😀

  10. Bennari H. says:

    I haven’t heard of this book before, and am now rather intrigued by it. Confusing is good sometimes! I think I’ll put this on my TBR, and wait for Celine’s review too 🙂

  11. LOL you crack me up. I don’t know what to think about this book now. I kind of know how you feel though. A book or two has done this to me too. Did this book break your brain a little? It’s okay, you can admit it. hehehe 😀
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