Monday, 5 September 2016

Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell

Series: Goth Girl, Book One

Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books

Format: Hardback

Published: 12th September 2013

Number of Pages: 224

Book: Bought

Genre:  Historical, Steampunk, Fantasy, Mystery, Gothic, Action-Adventure, MG

Recommended Age: 9+

Contains: Violence

Author's Site: Ridell

Meet Ada Goth.  She lives in Ghastly-Gorm Hall with her father, Lord Goth, lots of servants and at least a half a dozen of ghosts, but she hasn’t got any friends to explore her enormous, creepy house with.

Then, one night, everything changes when Ada meets a ghostly mouse called Ishmael.  Together they set out to solve the mystery of the strange happenings at Ghastly-Gorm Hall, and get a lot more than they bargained for...


Ada Goth, only daughter of Lord Goth, lives at Ghastly-Gorm Hall, a beautiful and... unique home.  She shares it with her father (absent, hobby-horse racer and cycling poet) and numerous servants – but what Ada really wants is a friend.

And then she meets William and Emily Cabbage, whose father is creating a machine for Lord Goth – before long they are sucked into the mysteries of Ghastly-Gorm Hall.  These mysteries include discovering why Ishmael, the ghost of a mouse, is haunting Ada and what Maltravers, the indoor gamekeeper, is up to.  With the help of the Attic Club, Ada is determined to get to the bottom of the mysteries!  

But she might get more than she bargained for...

I adore Chris Riddell.  His illustrations are amazing and so distinctive and always bring a story to life.  Until Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse, however, I've never read a book written by him and just him.  It will certainly not be the last because Goth Girl was absolutely phenomenally good!  Hilarious, witty, bonkers, tremendous fun and absolutely unputdownable – it was just so brilliant that I had to make up a word!  And so so beautiful!  I mean, the gorgeous silver foil up the spine, the brilliant purple around the pages, the tiny book by Ishmael at the back and there those beautiful beautiful illustrations!

The characters in this book were all...let's go with unique.  They were also awesome and brilliant and hilarious.  From brave, caring and clever Ada to the badass and brilliant Lucy Borgia, the characters were just so so inventive and unique,  I loved Ada of course, and Emily and William (Emily the artist and William with his chameleon abilities).  Ishmael the ghostly mouse wasn't in it as much as I'd expected, what with him being the title character (well, one of 'em) but he was so cute and his little book was brilliant – full review to come in a minute.  I really loved the governess and can't wait for her to come back – and the names of all the previous nannies, which included Moral Macabee, Hebe Poppins and Jane Ear!  That killed me!  

Chris Riddell is, of course, a phenomenal and distinctive illustrator – but he's also one hell of a writer!  Funny and witty, his writing was fairly simple and yet perfection when paired with the drawings.  And all the little jokes for parents reading to the kids, the silly names that were so, so close to those of real people, animals and places!  Brilliant!  Just brilliant!  Literary puns are literally the best things ever!  And the foot notes – written by "the severed foot of a famous writer who lost the aforementioned foot at the battle of Baden-Baden-Württemberg-Baden”: amazing.  The plot was great too – I do so love mysteries!  Especially ones including crafty servants and mythical creatures!

Seriously though – the drawings!  I loved 'em to death.  They were just gorgeous – atmospheric, perfect, beautiful, brilliant.   They were just so absolutely perfect!  Oh, if only Chris Riddell could illustrate everything ever written in the whole world ever!  Although then he might not have time to write more Goth Girl books – and I need more books...  Ok, so maybe not.  Still, the drawings were brilliant!

Goth Girl was so much fun to read!  I loved it to bits and read it quite happily all in one go!  It's perfect for young readers reading to themselves and also for parents reading a bedtime story. Or for older readers like myself to read and love because, quite frankly, everyone should read it!  It's awesome – stupendous!  I can't wait to read Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death!  Now onto my review of Memoirs of a Mouse...

"This is the tale of an ordinary mouse

Born and then raised in the wall of a house."

Bless little Ishmael and his great adventures!  He's so sweet and well-travelled!  His stories were a mix of tales from different books, one of which being Gulliver's Travels.  It was so fun to read and the illustrations were too cute!  Plus it was all rhyming – the first ever epic poem I've read that was penned by a "literary mouse"!  

Star Rating:
4 Out of 5


Read this book if you liked:

The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

The Map To Everywhere by Carrie Ryan

Wells & Wong by Robin Stevens

Happy Reading