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Beautiful City of the Dead


Beautiful City of the Dead

has an interesting first day of school. Sick with a high fever, Zee
already feels like she doesn't belong besides living on the fringes
of the high school hierarchy. Zee has always known she's a little
different from the "norm" --- she's into heavy metal music, is a
bass player, and makes strange observations that usually weird
people out --- but she finds an ally in Relly, a mysterious
dark-haired guy who takes a genuine interest in her. Soon after
they first meet, Relly tells Zee of his rock band and his
experimental music that he calls Ghost Metal.

"You know how if you turn the volume all the way till your ears
almost bleed, how when it's so loud there's a quiet place inside
the noise? Loud enough to shake your teeth loose but in there
somewhere is a ghost voice, like silent singing. That's the sound I
want to get."

Zee isn't sure what to think about Relly's ideas, but feels drawn
to him. She decides to audition for his band, Scorpio Bone, and
meets Relly's other two bandmates --- Butt, the simple drummer, and
Jerod, the lead singer who looks too beautiful to exist. Butt comes
from a broken home whereas Jerod is from an upper-crust family.
Along with Relly and Zee, who each have single parents, they make
up an unlikely group. With a notebook of strange lyrics inspired by
the "Beautiful City of the Dead" and some killer riffs, the band
seems destined to be immortal.

Just as things are going great, Zee makes a startling discovery
about herself and her bandmates, and realizes that the band has
some creepy enemies --- but not for the reason she would have
expected. Now Scorpio Bone must fight a battle of mythical
proportions or it will be all over for them before they've even

BEAUTIFUL CITY OF THE DEAD is a poetic, spooky, supernatural
mystery with a mythical twist that makes for an interesting autumn
night's read.


Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle on October 18, 2011

Beautiful City of the Dead
by Leander Watts

  • Publication Date: July 24, 2006
  • Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction
  • Hardcover: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
  • ISBN-10: 0618594434
  • ISBN-13: 9780618594436