A passable sequel
While Ghosts of Greenglass House retains some of the elements that gave the original book its charm, and added some additional, it lost a number of them in an attempt to ground itself in reality.
In the first book, the entire setting was very vague in it's timeline and place. All we knew for certain was that there was electricity, ghosts, and smugglers. Here, Kate Milford attempts to place the bizarre place of Nagspeake in a real world setting- we learn it is in the U.S., at least a hundred years after slavery, cars are a definite, and other bits of trivia. However, these don't feel like they flow well with abnormal settings of Liberty, and the mysteriously unmappable Nagspeake. It feels like she couldn't decide between making realistic fiction, or continuing in the vein she started the series in, and ended up trying for a middle ground, which was somewhat disastrous.
Overall, though, the book is still well-crafted in sentence/paragraph structure, and grammatical variety. It has a decent spread of vocabulary words. Several times it's mentioned the struggles of being adopted, and racism (even when intentions were good), and this is a good message. It does feel like that subplot either should have been cut, or more fully developed, but it is a nice touch.
The book also well represents your changing self-identity as you age, with Milo's transition from Negret to Tangfey. Marzana provides a nice representation of what is reality for all too many children- social anxiety.
This books most interesting struggle was "How similar should I be to the original?" It hit the mark with once more crafting a beautiful mystery. The recurring characters' traits and behaviours felt relatively consistent, while simultaneously not being completely static. However, some things should have been left behind. I felt bringing Owen back was unnecessary and contributed to the half-baked identity struggle. A number of new characters felt like carbon copies of previous ones.
In general, it was a good read, and I couldn't put it down. Despite its flaws, I was hooked, and am considering purchasing it to reread at my leisure.
This title contains:
Positive role models