Lord Goth is throwing a music festival at Ghastly-Gorm Hall, with performances from the finest composers in the land. Ada can’t wait, but it’s quite distracting when her grandmother is trying to find her father a fashionable new wife, there’s a faun living in her wardrobe and Maltravers is up to his old tricks. Ada must make sure everything goes to plan, and luckily help is at hand from a very interesting house guest . . .
Goth Girl and the Sinister Symphony is the fourth adventure for Ada and her friends at Ghastly-Gorm Hall. This is also the final book in the Goth Girl series, filled with plenty of spooky adventures and musical goings-on.
“After breakfast, Ada and Emily went upstairs to the extra-long gallery, a high-ceilinged room that ran the length of the central part of Ghastly-Gorm Hall. On one side of the gallery, light came streaming in through the large windows, and on the other side was a stack of paintings in gold frames waiting to be hung on the wall above.”
One of the best things about this book is its package — it’s hardcover, silver foiled, and the edges of the pages are coated in bright green. The book is also quite small, like a handbook, so it is a quick, easy read. The book shines, and it’s so beautiful when you first see it. I can imagine kids seeing this in the bookstore and automatically reaching for it purely because of how gorgeous it looks. Additionally, Chris Riddell’s work is wondrous. He has a real art for sketches and writing witty, imaginative stories.
You don’t need to read the other Goth Girl books in order to understand this one — I actually didn’t realise this was the fourth book in the series and I was able to follow along really easily. This is a standalone story.
“The broken wing was Ada’s favourite part of the house. It was full of rooms with forgotten and unused things in them, and Ada loved exploring it whenever she had the time.”
What I love most about this book is that Chris uses his writing and his drawings to poke fun at real life. There are characters in the book based off Simon Cowell and Taylor Swift, and there’s an orange-faced man named Donald Ear-Trumpet who is a caricature of President Donald Trump:
‘I’ve come all the way from New Guernsey,’ said an orange-faced man. His elegant wife was sitting under an awning beside their streamlined wooden caravan and looked rather bored. They were both wearing gumboots.
‘The name’s Donald Ear-Trumpet,’ the man said. He had what looked like a raccoon-skin hat on his head and two sticks grasped in his tiny hands and was trying to light a fire by rubbing them together.
Chris Riddell appeals to readers of all ages — his books are whimsical and magical and they really engage the reader in their manic, mad-cap storylines and their colourful cast of characters. The book is elegantly produced, but also masterfully written.
This book is aimed at children aged 9-11, but adults will enjoy reading this just as much as kids. There are a lot of jokes in the book that children may not understand, but grown-ups definitely will. And this book has so many gorgeous illustrations that sometimes you want to take it slow so that you can really enjoy the whole experience of reading it.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Goth Girl and the Sinister Symphony
Pan Macmillan Australia