The Seer of Shadows by Avi

Posted by amanda on Oct 30th, 2008
Oct 30

Horace is apprenticed to a photographer who has a scheme to take advantage of a grieving woman who has lost a child by creating a faked spirit photo that will include her dead daughter’s ghost. The photographer, Mr. Middleditch, hopes all the wealthy ladies will want him to come and photograph them in the hopes of capturing spirit images. What no one could know is that Horace is a seer and he really does photograph ghosts. By photographing the ghosts, he gives them power and calls them back to Earth. After photographing the child, Eleanora, several times, she returns and it seems her death was not caused by a disease but by something much darker. Eleanora is back and looking for revenge on her adoptive parents and only Horace has the power to see her and perhaps stop her.

A good ghost story built on a framework of historical 1872 when photography was new and capturing spirit images was in vogue. Horace’s family is staunchly abolitionist and so his friendship with the African-American servant girl of the wealthy house is his way of learning the secrets and solving the mystery of Eleanora’s death. Avi does a good job of building suspense as slowly the reader learns what happened to Eleanora and what her wrathful spirit intends to do about it. This was a good Halloween week read or a good read for any fan of classic ghostly tales. 202p., 2008.

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