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The Last Ghost: A Belladonna Johnson Adventure (Belladonna Johnson Mystery) [Unabridged] [Paperback]

Helen Stringer
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 2010 Belladonna Johnson Mystery
In Belladonna Johnson's world, talking to ghosts seems perfectly normal. She even lives with two - her recently deceased parents, who are still very much involved with their daughter's life. But then the ghosts start disappearing. Before her father slips away, he warns her that the doors are closing, but Belladonna doesn't understand what he means. She realises, though, that evil forces are at work, and if she can't stop them, she might lose everything. With her friend Steve, she sets off on a trip that will test them to their limits, as they discover the dark secrets that lurk on the Other Side . . .

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books; Unabridged edition (1 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330467247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330467247
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,005,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Helen Stringer grew up in Liverpool and currently lives in Los Angeles. She worked briefly for Merseyside Museums before following local (and family) tradition by getting involved in the music business, managing a new wave rock band and editing a local music paper. After moving to the United States to pursue a career in the film industry, she studied at the American Film Institute, winning several student film awards. She lives with a small herd of cats and about thirty fish, and now writes full-time.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for book 2! 5 Nov 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I can in no way admit to being a child but I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will certainly be purchasing the next of Belladonna's adventures.

Belladonna Johnson is an unusual teenager in so far as she can see ghosts which is pretty handy seeing as there has been an awful tragedy in her family. However, something goes radically wrong on 'the otherside' and suddenly all her 'friends' start to disappear. Somehow, (she isn't exactly popular) she makes friends with a boy from her school and together they set off to find out what is going on.

What a potboiler........the story races along never allowing the reader to become bored and I enjoyed it so much that I sat and read the entire book in one sitting. I would even give it say 6 months and then re-read it because it was that enjoyable. Yes, there are some supremely frightening parts, which even made me squirm a tad, but in my opinion, children like to be scared.

This is a well written, well crafted story and I suspect that Belladonna will gain many fans in the future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A captivating little book 18 Nov 2009
By Princess Mononoke VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I selected this book because it came under the category of ghost/supernatural stories but it is in fact for a younger reader - I would say anywhere between 10 and 15. Despite that it was extremely enjoyable - sometimes you forget just how good a well written childrens story can be. Belladonna Johnson is not your normal teenager - she can see ghosts and lives with two! Her parents. Slowly the ghosts start to disappear and it is up to Belladonna and her friend Steve to figure out what is going on and why - can they save them in time?

A ripping yarn that goes along at quite a pace - I've passed it on to my 10 year old daughter who is loving in. I can see this being the start of something big and look forward to reading more about Belladonna's adventures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There's hope... 18 Dec 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
...that if this turns into a series, the storylines will evolve. The writing's pretty decent, really, but the ghosts are too corporeal for my liking. I mean, watching the telly I get but actually cooking and reading the paper??? The book poses connections between the living and the dead that arouse interest though, and the action speeds up as it gets to the end -- until then it jogs somewhat -- with a fabulous uber-villainess who sounds as if she should be the Empress Of rather than just a Major Minion. Stringer's intriguing imaginative turns here indicate there's more to come.

Written from the point of view of the child characters, "The Last Ghost" reflects the frustration children must often feel when adults ignore their statements, their questions, THEM because of their youth. Things turn, of course, in this story upon the very children that the adults have diligently bypassed as too young to involve. This wasn't classed as young adult fiction when I first looked at it, but it should have been.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ghosts and another world to explore 5 Jan 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Belladonna Johnson sees ghosts. Its more inconvenient and embarrassing than scary, especially when her dad forgets and pops his head through the wall to chat, though having her parents around after death is quite reassuring. Something odd is happening to the ghosts though, and soon Belladonna and her friend Steve are on the track of a mystery that involves finding the Land of the Dead and discovering some strange and exciting new skills.

I really enjoyed this book as an adult. Its fast-paced and well-written, with a nice dose of humour, Belladonna is a great, down-to-earth character who's not going to give in and sit down quietly when there are things to be done. The scary elements are well-done and the plot is logical, without resorting to mad chases or over-the-top set pieces as so many modern children's books seem to. This is good old-fashioned fun, with a modern sensibility that makes it ideal for a wide audience. Definitely worth a read, whatever your age.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great debut with a lot of promise 20 Nov 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Belladonna's first adventure is a well written tale, reminding me very much of Alice in Wonderland but a little more down to earth. While I found the beginning incredibly boring, the book really picks up after the basic introduction and scene has been set, and once Belladonna gets head first into her adventure is where this book really shines.

A great read for kids or even adults!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A lot going on for one story 30 Oct 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The idea behind this tale is a good one.... Young Girl with psychic powers ...The spirits of her dead parents inhabit family home and life goes on more or less as normal until one day the Ghosts not only of her parents but apparently of every one haunting this world do as well...and so the mystery begins. Except the author for some reason brings in lots of fairly strange and unneccersary twists and turns and introduces charactors that are a distraction rather than a part of the story, that aside it still romps along at a cracking pace and the world as seen through a young girls eyes is very well portrayed . Where it works best though is in making it interesting enough to want to find out what happens next. Belladonna Johnson will no doubt go from strength to strength and her stories will become a must have for many young readers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rollicking supernatural adventure 22 Dec 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Twelve-year-old Belladonna Johnson has a secret - she can see ghosts. She still lives with her parents, even though they died in an accident two years earlier. At school Belladonna is a loner, as talking to dead people makes her feel like a freak. But she soon finds herself on a dangerous quest as all the ghosts start disappearing, and it turns out that the dead are a lot more important to the living than anyone realised, so Belladonna must journey into the Land of the Dead with the help of the school troublemaker Steve and the ghostly Elsie...

It took a little while for me to get into this novel, but once I did I really enjoyed it. This is kind of an old fashioned children's story, maybe something Enid Blyton would have written if she'd lived in the age of Twilight! It's refreshing to read a story written for a younger audience that doesn't deal with drugs, teenage sex/pregnancy, drinking, bullying etc. Instead this is an action-packed supernatural adventure that is based on ancient mythology: the Greek seer the Sibyl makes an appearance, and the universe is made up of nine worlds. It is intelligently written and well plotted.

Belladonna is a gutsy and resourceful heroine, and a smart and loving daughter and friend. The cast of supporting characters range from Belladonna's apple pie parents to the sinister ghostly alchemist Dr. Ashe and the downright weird of the disembodied prophet.

This is the first in a series, and the story is rounded off nicely, with a hint of what is to come in the sequel, which I would also like to read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
My dad and I bought this book with my Christmas money last year. I found I about a week ago lying in a book shelf, never read. I decided to start it and now I love it! Read more
Published 21 months ago by A kid's review
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Put This Book Down!!!!!
Me and my daughter love this first Belladonna Johnson book from Helen Stringer. Belladonna Johnson and her friend Steve face a perilous quest to find out why the ghost's are... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Mrs.L.Gambo
3.0 out of 5 stars Charmingly written, a little meandering
I'm a huge fan of such fantasy writers as Neil Gaiman, who write for adults and for children with equal ease. Read more
Published on 23 Jun 2011 by M. Board
5.0 out of 5 stars Where Have All The Ghosts Gone!!
Belladonna Johnson is not your usual school girl and although she is a little different due to the "incident" she doesn't get as much grief from her school colleagues as she might... Read more
Published on 16 Feb 2011 by R. E. Quinn
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended.
Belladonna Johnson sometimes finds it hard to fit in. This might be something to do with the fact that she can see dead people - including her recently deceased parents. Read more
Published on 8 Aug 2010 by H. Playford
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet book
This is a really lovely and refreshingly different little book. It's a long time since I was a teenager but I still enjoyed it immensely. Read more
Published on 15 July 2010 by Boof
4.0 out of 5 stars Great ghostly fun
The Last Ghost is a very well written debut novel which reads with the sort of maturity and finesse of a more experienced author. Read more
Published on 21 Mar 2010 by Norman Cheeseworthy
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantstic wonderful and just a more than a bit scarey
I loved this book and i really really really didn't want it to end. I am not going to say to much as i feel the other reviews have cover the points i wanted to say, so i will just... Read more
Published on 28 Jan 2010 by romreader
4.0 out of 5 stars Hopefully the first of many
This is a very good book for older children and young adults. Belladonna Johnson is 12 years old and the story is told from her perspective. Read more
Published on 28 Jan 2010 by Kate.Tudor
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely adventure
I cannot profess to being within the target age group for this book, but found it completely enchanting nonetheless. Read more
Published on 22 Jan 2010 by Mr. M. L. Hawes
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