Here we are in New York City at the Book Expo America, Bob and I. Today we’re looking forward to having lunch with Rick Spilman, fellow author and founder of Old Salt Press, whose imprint Water Ghosts bears. Spilman’s book The Shantyman just received a starred review from Kirkus, no small feat! And I’m pleased with the recently published Kirkus review of Water Ghosts, posted below. Water Ghosts will be published June 1, 2015.
Foreword Reviews is showcasing Water Ghosts and Looking for Redfeather, at their booth #453. I’m looking forward to putting names to faces today when I stop by to meet them, and to see the other independently published books they are featuring.
More on the BEA 2015 to follow…
“In Collison’s (Star-Crossed, 2006, etc.) YA adventure, a teen on a character-building excursion at sea faces challenges larger than getting along with his crewmates when the spirit of a destructive ancient Chinese ghost appears.
James McCafferty has the bad luck to be shanghaied by his mother and her boyfriend and sent aboard the Chinese junk Good Fortune. He is not a happy sailor. While the other teens possess what might pass as conventional behavior problems—the bookish boy obsessed with weapons, the tattooed punk girl, the adopted Asian kleptomaniac, the bully and his minions—James is different. He isn’t a bad kid; he just sees and hears dead people, who now pursue the Good Fortune as it wanders to the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Yu Chin, the spirit of a 700-year-old Chinese eunuch in the imperial court, talks to James, berates him as a weakling, then tells him his plan to take over his body and send him to hell. Until then, readers’ are treated to plenty of irreverent Holden Caulfield–like wit along with James’ spot-on observations, which seem to keep him afloat as the situation takes on water. When the chipper youth counselor Marty—“a continuous public service announcement”—and first mate Miles disappear and Capt. Dan, who “looks more like somebody’s fat, stoned uncle,” dies, the ship is inexorably drawn toward a fate that involves a parallel spirit world and an ancient Chinese power struggle. The abandoned teens don’t become as feral as those in The Lord of the Flies; instead, their camaraderie comes in handy just as a ghost armada raises itself from the deep. Much interesting information on Chinese sailing ships and mythology is introduced, and while not all of it is essential to the plot, Collison deftly prevents the info from talking down to young readers or encumbering the story.”
“A witty YA voyage with plenty of narrative power.”