The Ghost Road (The Haunting of Derek Stone, Book 4)
by Tony Abbott
Cover Artist: Alex Eckman-Lawn
Review by Gayle Surrette
Scholastic Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780545034326
Date: 01 September 2009 List Price $4.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
The Ghost Road is the last book in The Haunting of Derek Stone series and it what the entire series has been building toward. Can Derek accept what the ghost of his mother told him? Can he stop the Legion and seal the rift? Derek has been moving constantly since City of the Dead. He's had no time to think, to plan, to understand this destiny that everyone tells him he must fulfill. What can you expect of a fourteen-year-old, slightly overweight boy who is expected to stop an evil menace bent on taking over the world when he only has the help of his dead zombie brother and a young girl he barely knows?
Abbott bring the story to a close with fireworks, loss, and a lot of tough decisions made in haste. Derek has been our point of view character and he's a thoughtful boy who has often lived in his head. But the events of the series have pulled the rug out from under him -- he's lost everything he held dear: his father, his brother, the home he grew up in, and even his self-image. He keeps going because he knows right from wrong and will do what has to be done to save the world from the Legion.
At this point, you just wish Derek could walk away because you suspect what must be done and hope you're wrong. But, we wouldn't care so much about Derek if we actually thought he would walk away. We can only continue to read and give him our encouragement and hope he listens to his heart and not the advice he's getting from all sides.
There's been a lot of stories where the young adult must make decisions most adults aren't ready to make, and do it selflessly to save others. But, Abbott manages to make his main character a normal boy with normal cares and concerns and throws him believably into extraordinary circumstances. Derek is still Derek-- no superpowers (he can hear the dead but it doesn't do him any good, except to know they're coming after him and he knew that anyway). He must defeat the enemy with the knowledge he has--lucky for the world he's a scholar and he knows a lot and how to learn more.
I'm not going to tell you how it turns out. If you've been following the series you'll want the experience to be your own. If you haven't read the series yet, give it a try--this is one that makes you feel deeply about the characters and their situations.