By Michelle Harrison
In contrast to her previous trilogy which appealed to 9-12 year olds and teens, Unrest is firmly in the teen category. The protagonist Elliott has left art school after a near fatal accident has destroyed his confidence. He is feeling depressed and disturbed and his sleep is interrupted by strange visions and dreams. Gradually Elliott realises that he had an out of body experience and is now able to see ghosts, as he is woken again and again by a young woman who took her own life a few years before in his flat. Elliot’s Mum is dead and his Dad is usually away at work so his only real confidant is his brother who is busy with his band and girlfriend Amy. Elliott decides to explore his ability by applying for a job at Past Lives, a kind of historical and paranormal theme park with old buildings some original, some moved from other areas and rebuilt at the centre each portraying life in different eras and many with their own ghost stories. Here Elliott meets Ophelia and comes into contact with a spirit that wants to use Elliott to gain revenge and it seems that it will stop at nothing to achieve it.
Michelle Harrison’s novel is chilling and surprising as the story twists and turns to a final gut churning ending. Readers who have enjoyed Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough or Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan will really enjoy Unrest, highly recommended.