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Spirit Paperback – August 25, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (August 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060850655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060850654
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,121,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—The year is 1892, and Tess and Tobias Goodraven are not your typical newly married couple. Avid musicians, they are also 17-year-old ghost hunters, possessing a special talent that enables them to feel the presence of spirits and communicate with them. On a mission to put to rest the spirit of Mary Dutton, a victim of the Salem witch trials, the ghost reveals to them that there is evil associated with the trials that needs to be dealt with. They learn that three "witches" escaped and fled to nearby Blackthorne where they were caught and executed, and they board a train bound to a winter ice festival there. When it derails, killing many passengers, the Goodravens realize that they are in grave danger. Hightman's dark and intricate story is full of plot twists and turns in which the dead stalk the living. It will leave readers dazed, disturbed, and, like any true ghost story, full of terror that keeps them on the edge of their seats.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Growing up in 1892 New England, Tess and Tobias Goodraven love to chase ghosts. But their trip to Blackthorne, Massachusetts, a sleepy, somewhat abandoned town in the shadow of Salem, turns out to be a more gruesome than fanciful adventure in a community brutally haunted by its own occult legacy. Old Widow Malgore still roams there, festering in the environs as a horrific wraith ready to wreak havoc on any who dare disturb the area. When a herd of elk smashes into the train that the Goodravens ride into town, readers and passengers alike know that this is no ordinary accident. Malgore has declared war on any who try to probe Blackthorne’s secrets. Murder and mayhem abound, affecting nearly everyone as Tess and Tobias try to break Malgore’s power and liberate their own tragic pasts from ghostly happenings. Fans of horror and spirit-world stories will be entranced by this vivid, spooky offering. Grades 6-10. --Anne O'Malley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

From the moment I picked this book up, I couldn't put it down.
Enchanting Reviews
The hypersensitivity of the main characters is a bit heavy-handed and at times annoying, but the haunting atmosphere of the novel easily overcomes its flaws.
Lyra
Just the right amount of black humor and creep factor to make this a really fun Halloween read, my favorite of this month!
EpicFehlReader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on August 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Blackthorne has always been haunted. A tiny town in Massachusetts, it has been abandoned since the Salem witch trials, when a group of unfortunates fled there only to be hanged as witches.

Now, in the heart of the Victorian era, one train is bound for Blackthorne, where a winter carnival awaits in an attempt to breathe life into the old town. The cars are full of the promise of fireworks, sleigh rides, and skating, but Tess and Tobias Goodraven, two seasoned ghost hunters, expect something much darker.

Though they came in search of ghosts, even the Goodravens didn't expect a witch like Old Mother Malgore - a ghost full of malevolence, who stalks the forests, snuffing out any spark of life. When the train derails and casualties soar, the Goodravens must move between past and present tragedies to have any chance of killing the witch, quieting the souls of the living, and setting to rest the ghosts.

SPIRIT uses the historical Salem witch trials as a jumping point, and leaps off into an eerie ghost story. The prose is lyrical and haunting, and the narration, led by Tess and Tobias, oscillates between richly romantic, unexpectedly terrifying, and acerbically humorous, all with a touch of darkness. As the story progresses, readers' expectations will be completely derailed as new revelations move the plot in altogether uncharted directions.

With an ending so unexpectedly chilling that I was actually frightened, SPIRIT is a masterfully done book that will haunt the reader long after its cover has been closed.

Reviewed by: Rebecca Wells
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Suzy Wildwood on February 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It's Salem, Massachusetts in the year 1892. The Goodravens, Tess and Tobias, are a couple of independently wealthy, narcissistic young mediums who idle their hours away, spending money, hunting ghosts and playing the cello. With a name like Goodraven you can guess that these two are the good guys. Well, skulking in the woods between Salem and the nearby deserted and reputedly haunted town of Blackthorne--there had been an epidemic there once upon a time--lurks the "ghost" of a REAL witch. She hadn't been one of the merely poor, infirm or mentally unstable old women wrongly hanged as witches in the infamous Salem Trials. No, the Widow Malgore is the real thing: The First Accusd. "Malgore", another unsubtle moniker: "mal" (bad) and "gore" (which pretty much sums up this tale). Straight from Central Casting with glowing eyeballs and an animal's skull head, and riding the requisite demon steed she has bent to her will, Malgore draws ever greater dark powers from the very land itself. The woods between Salem and Blackthorne are haunted by some infinitely ancient, malevolent force, it is rumored in local Indian lore.

"There ARE witches in these woods," Josiah Jurey interrupted..."

There is a surprise ending but I won't give it away, although apparently the author wanted to make darn sure we didn't miss it. Instead of letting the surprise tap us on the shoulder, O. Henry style, author Hightman goes on to beat us over the head with a club of the obvious for another page and a half.

If chainsaws had been invented in 1892, then professional screenwriter J. P. Hightman would have undoubtedly written this book with one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lyra on September 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Those who seek the truth in the blood of the Salem dead will find nothing but torment in their head..."

J.P. Hightman's book Spirit is a Gothic novel aimed at the young adult crowd. When its protagonists-- a young independently wealthy married couple-- go looking for the fate of the mysterious "First Accused" of the Salem witch trials, they find themselves trapped in a web of malevolent magic and unable to stop the train of deaths around them. As the body count rises and the evil intensifies, Tess and Tobias try frantically to discern what the spirits want from them. Will their isolation from one another prove their undoing, or will the phantoms of a long dead Puritan couple help them to survive?

Spirit's prose is sometimes breathtaking but often overwrought. The plot has so many tangles, twists and characters that it can be confusing, and puzzling scenes are left unexplained. The hypersensitivity of the main characters is a bit heavy-handed and at times annoying, but the haunting atmosphere of the novel easily overcomes its flaws.

Spirit is a ghost story perfect for chilly October nights and will appeal strongly to fans of Twilight.
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Format: Hardcover
SPIRIT
J.P. HIGHTMAN
Paranormal Young Adult

Rating: 4.5 Enchantments

There's only one way to describe SPIRIT: a spellbinding page-turner. From the moment I picked this book up, I couldn't put it down. J.P. Hightman crafts a riveting story that grabs hold of the reader immediately and doesn't let go until the startling, goosebump giving conclusion.

Tess and Tobias Goodravens, seventeen years old and newly married, are already seasoned ghost hunters. Now on the hunt for `The Ones Who Got Away', witches who somehow managed to escape the Salem Witch Trials, Tess and Tobias find themselves heading to Blackthorne, a tiny, haunted town in Massachusetts. Tess is already feeling anxious about the upcoming experience, while Tobias too is a little uneasy, but he does his best to hide his true feelings from his wife. Along the way, the couple are forced to take a train ride that will have extreme life changing consequences.

Wow, what an unexpected paranormal read. Aside from its unique setting and time period, Tess and Tobias are two of the more unusual characters I've ever run across, which I think made them all the more endearing. I loved the whole thing, the twists and turns, the unusual characters that populated the story.

An amazing tale, SPIRIT will leave the reader with goosebumps as they near the startling conclusion that will leave them speechless. I can't wait to read more from this talented author.

J. P. Hightman is a professional screenwriter and the author of the saint of dragons and samurai. He divides his time between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Lisa
Enchanting Reviews
October 2008
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