The Black Ghost 2: Shame the Devil

GraphicAudio. (The Black Ghost: Bk. 2). Apr. 2023. 153p. $10.99. ISBN 9781685088842.
Gr 9 Up–Spoiler alert! Starting with the first volume for the full story is recommended. But if that’s not an immediately available option, this one opens with almost five minutes of bare-bones recap, cleverly presented as “that’s my story” to a roomful of alcoholics because Lara has finally joined AA. Vulnerability only lasts for so long: “All right, gang—share time’s over,” and Lara and Ernesto (remember him?) have a lot of lifesaving work to do to make Creighton safer (enough). The ending offers hope for plenty more arggghhhs and thwacks and buzzes and dings since all the mysteries (thankfully) do not get revealed here. Messner is back to narrate, adapt, and direct—and the continuity is a striking plus as a sober Lara (Ann delivers!) takes charge of her life and teen Ernesto (Ruiz is indeed earnest—and tenacious) really starts to come into his erudite, savvy own.
VERDICT Libraries will need both volumes; recommended for older reluctant readers.

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