Book Review: Jimmy Stone's Ghost Town by Scott Neumyer
I don't read a lot of YA fiction but since I got my kindle I have been trying to read a wider range of books. The author has been promoting the book on Amazon's kindle forums so I thought I would give it a try.
Jimmy Stone has been having a hard time of it, first his parents come home from the hospital without his soon to be baby sister, then his mum dies and his dad decides they should move and turns into a beer swilling couch potato. Jimmy has no friends, other than faithful dog Trex, until David befriends him to help him avoid the school bullies. The 3 of them, exploring woods behind Jimmy's house, end up in mysterious ghost town and discover that to return home they have to complete a series of tasks.
This is obviously setting up a series, it is revealed Ghost Town is one of seven other realms outside our world. The first third of the book is primarily setting up Jimmy's back story and introducing him as the main protagonist. The next part introduces Ghost Town and the boys find out a bit about what is in store for them, and in the final third they carry out their first task.
I'm quite a bit older than the target audience and my daughter is only a toddler so I haven't got anyone of that sort of age to help me judge the book from the ideal viewpoint. For me Jimmy's hardships were covered for too long and repeated more than necessary, but I suspect for a younger reader it is setting up the idea that you can overcome any difficulties to become as strong person. There is still an element of mystery about what became of his soon to be sister and mum though, which I'm hoping will be revealed in future books. We do see Jimmy developing in the book, which I liked, especially becoming more assertive. David is more mysterious, I think he is meant to seem that way to Jimmy but I hope that in the next book the reader will find out more about his background. I would also like to know why Jimmy is the chosen one, although if this is indeed a series of 7 it's early days yet.
I thought the book was well written, it raised a few smiles and I imagine would have kids of the right age laughing. It must say something about the way it is written that despite it not being one of my usual genres I want to read the next one to find out more.