I received this galley in consideration for an honest review.The Ghosts Of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
Published by Macmillan on January 6, 2015
Genres: Young Adult
Four linked stories boldly chronicle madness, obsession, and creation through the ages. Beginning with the cave-drawings of a young girl on the brink of creating the earliest form of writing, Sedgwick traverses history, plunging into the seventeenth century witch hunts and a 1920s insane asylum where a mad poet's obsession with spirals seems to be about to unhinge the world of the doctor trying to save him. Sedgwick moves beyond the boundaries of historical fiction and into the future in the book's final section, set upon a spaceship voyaging to settle another world for the first time. Merging Sedgwick's gift for suspense with science- and historical-fiction, Ghosts of Heaven is a tale is worthy of intense obsession.
I never know quite what to expect when I read a Marcus Sedgwick novel, and once again, he has written a book that I really enjoyed, but have a hard time explaining. The Ghosts Of Heaven is written in four parts that are interconnected and all have a common thread, if you will. That common thread is a spiral. Spirals occur in nature, both in large objects and on a microscopic level, and the imagery of the spiral runs through every story. Since each section is independent, you could start in the middle, or at the end, or read through from page one until the end, as I did. Each section has its own story, but still shares something with the other sections. I think it’s one of those books that you find something new inside every time you read it. I also loved the way, if you read it from beginning to end, it starts with pre-history and ends far into the future. The first story begins before people had written communication and the last story is about a man on a long duration space flight. While these stories may seem to have nothing in common with the other, the way they connect is quite brilliant.
Reviewers throw around the term “haunting” a lot when describing books, but I can’t think of another word that describes these stories as well. Each section stayed with me long after I finished the book and I found myself noticing spirals everywhere, both in nature and in man-made structures. So, in that respect, it was haunting me, in a way. Independent of the unusual structure, I genuinely liked each story and found them to be entertaining and dark. The Ghosts Of Heaven was interesting, absorbing, and unlike anything I’ve read before. If you are looking for a book that will truly make you look at things a little differently after you’ve finished reading, then The Ghosts Of Heaven deserves a place on your reading list for 2015.