Jake Green is not your ordinary kid. He may appear that way at the start of Embassy of the Dead but when you reach the last page, there’s no denying that unusual things tend to happen when he is around.
For instance, one day he is walking down a lane way and a strange man who just happens to look like an undertaker, hands him a box. When, later that day he opens it, he is faced with a severed finger. Eek!
Confused and not at all sure what to do, Jake hardly has time to contemplate his next move before Stiifkey (the undertaker from the laneway) is back on the scene explaining to him in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t the intended recipient of the finger.
Unfortunately for Jake, opening the box has inadvertently broken one of the Embassy of the Dead’s most serious laws. Not only is he destined for the Eternal Void, he will be collected by Mawkins, one of the Embassy’s twelve reapers who could track you to the end of the earth by following your scent.
So, begins Jake’s adventures with the undead, the dead, reapers, bonewulfs and a handful of other creepy entities. The Eternal Void doesn’t sound too appealing so with the help of Stiffkey, Jake sets off to find out if there is a technicality that will get them out of the line of fire.
With help from Stiffkey’s colleagues, Jake discovers that he is ‘sensitive’ to ghosts and that this means he has the power to help ghosts who need to be ‘undone’ or assisted on their journey to the Afterworld. If he can manage to do this, he will be officially licensed by the Embassy and will be deemed not to have broken the law.
But it isn’t easy trying to find out why a ghost, poltergeist or spectre is holding on to life, let alone figuring out a way to fix the problem. Meanwhile the Embassy has problems of its own as someone has devious plans for the finger – who to trust?
Will Jake manage to escape the clutches of Mawkins and the Eternal Void? Can he also save Stiffkey and Cora the possessor who he meets along the way? And most importantly can he do all this and continue to make his parents believe he is at school camp?
Talented UK storyteller Will Mabbitt has created a fantastically dark yet funny adventure for 9+ readers. Embassy of the Dead is a fun read with great illustrations throughout helping set the scene. It has been compared to Skulduggery Pleasant and Who Let the Gods Out. And the good news is that this is only the first instalment in a series, so there’s a lot more creepiness to come!
Will Mabbitt has an overactive imagination. It used to get him into trouble, but now it’s his job. His first book, The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Janes, was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award. He’s achieved little else of note, preferring to spend his time loitering in graveyards. He can also be found wandering the streets of Brighton in a daze. He is probably having an idea. He lives with his family, in Lewes, on the south coast of England.