‘An expectant hush greets the opening of the book, as the candlelight flickers over the gilt embossed letters on the cover. Scrooge always reads them a ghost story on Christmas Eve. It is a tradition and a fine one at that. For what would Christmas be without a ghost story?’ – The Last of the Spirits, Chris Priestley.

Okay, can we start with how friggin’ beautiful this cover is?! It’s been a while since a cover impressed me, but this one certainly did.


‘The Last of the Spirits’ by Chris Priestley is a fantastic retelling of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ with a slight twist. Sam and Lizzie are freezing on the streets of Victorian London on Christmas Eve and Sam, we find out, has a slight hatred with Scrooge, which has led to his firm decision to kill him. However, when the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future visit Scrooge to show him the errors of his ways, Sam ends up being taken for a ride of his own.

Despite being quite slow to begin with, it is a very interesting take on the original text and Priestley has done a fantastic job of entwining the story with Scrooge’s. The further into the book you read, you begin to see the original story come through, and instead of you reading Sam and Lizzie’s story instead of Scrooge’s, you end up reading it alongside his, really helping to capture the true essence of the story. Although this is perhaps targeted at younger children, I think this is a perfect quick read to get you into the Christmas spirit. (I know its only the beginning of November, but it’s never too early!) (Let’s be honest, I’ve been listening to Michael Buble’s Christmas Album while writing this…) I enjoyed this book thoroughly, it captured the Christmas spirit beautifully and I will definitely be picking this up to read again on Christmas Eve.

LOS back

‘The Last of the Spirits’ is out today so if you happen to grab a copy let us know what you think of it! Or let us know what books you read to get into the Christmas spirit and whether you’re already as excited as I am for Christmas!

Taylor-Louise Rowley