A Game of Ghouls: The Phenomenals

This is the second book about the four Phenomenals (Citrine, Folly, Vincent and Jonah), a dysfunctional quartet made up of a lock-picker, a seeker, a rich girl and a thug. To the law-abiding citizens of Degringolade, the four are undesirables who should be thrown in the city jail. The local newspaper has even offered a reward for their capture. In more ways than one, time is not on their side. When a strange earthquake strikes the city, the ancient clock in the market square is badly damaged. According to local legend, all hell will break loose if the clock stops, and with something still shifting beneath the streets of the town, everyone is on edge. It's up to the Phenomenals to seize the hour, and it's not going to be easy.

Higgins rejoices in imbuing her tales with dark, supernatural elements, and The Game of Ghouls has its fair share. There are the vanishing fairy lights that lure people to their deaths on the treacherous salt marsh, the ongoing mystery of an empty casket at Citrine's family tomb, the strange cards that foretell a sleeping danger waiting to be awoken, and a deadly promise to a puca. The Phenomenals twist through the plot, at once the saviours and the damned of Degringolade. And when the end comes, there are still questions unanswered and other beginnings in sight. The author of brilliant books such as The Black Book of Secrets hasn't lost her touch. Imaginative and thoughtful storytelling for ages 10-12.