The Night Tourist
Jack Perdu, a shy, ninth grade classics prodigy lives with father on the Yale University campus. But when Jack suffers a near fatal accident, his life is forever changed. His father sends him to a mysterious doctor in New York City--a place Jack hasn't been since his mother died there eight years ago. While in the city, Jack meets Euri, a young girl who offers to show him the secrets of Grand Central Station. Here, Jack discovers New York's Underworld, a place where those who died in the city reside until they are ready to move on. This, Jack believes, is a chance to see his mother again. But as secrets about Euri's past are revealed, so are the true reasons for Jack's visit to the Underworld.
The hallmark of an excellent mythology is the ability to be retold in various ways. The stories from classic Greek mythology endure because of their timeless characters and themes. With The Night Tourist,author Katherine Marsh tells a tale inspired by the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. While Orpheus traveled to the underworld to rescue his beloved Eurydice, Marsh's main character Jack journeys into the spirit underworld of New York City to find his deceased mother. He meets a young ghost named Euri who acts as his guide while trying to avoid being caught by the underworld authorities and their dog Cerberus. Youths looking for a supernatural tale will find much to offer with this novel. There are naturally many references and parallels to the Orpheus legend but readers will also learn about some of New York City's famous locations, history, geography, and people. Marsh clearly has a love for the city. Young readers do not need to already be aware of the Orpheus myth as the characters do bring up the story and how their situation mirrors it. I was surprised that the ending followed through on the myth from which it was based but the characters still manage to mostly find a happy state of mind in the end. Readers who enjoy this story might also want to check out the sequel entitled The Twilight Prisoner.
Review by Joe