Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments – T.L. Huchu
Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments is the second book in the Edingburgh Nights series by T.L. Huchu. In the first book we got to follow the ghost-talker Ropa Moyo as she was investigating the disappearance of a child in the neighborhood. In that first book we also got a glimpse of the bigger magic society that is established in Scotland, and Ropa’s first steps in trying some higher magic, much different from the ghost-talking her grandmother taught her.
In this book we continue to follow Ropa, still living in a trailer with her sister and grandma, still hustling to make ends meet in a society where there’s huge differences between the working class and the upper class. Now Ropa is an magic-apprentice, starting her journey in the higher magics as a, what she hopes, paid apprentice to the famous magician Sir Ian Callander. Unfortunately, everyone is not equally excited of someone with her background practicing “real” magic, and she ends up becoming an unpaid intern instead.
Because of this, having to find another way to make money, she accepts to help a friend at the hospital in trying to figure out what is wrong with a young boy being in a coma. The investigation leads to students in one of the schools for magic, and also connections to something much bigger.
The book very much picks up where we left in the first book, but continues to build Ropa and the other side characters a bit deeper. Ropa is still a strong and independent character, but also still have some judgement flaws that makes her more relatable. Writer Huchu also continues writing the in a slangy way that lends credibility to the streetsmarts of the character, but this also gives the novel somewhat of a young adult feeling from time to time. Perhaps it’s the style of writing combined with the age of the characters that makes me have that feeling, and perhaps more of a sign that I’m getting older.
The novel is a nice ride that keeps up a decent speed, but of course things ramp up more in the final part of the book. if you liked the first book I think that you most certainly will like this one. And if you haven’t rad the first you should start there, I don’t think this one works entirely by it’s own, and is most certainly not thought of as a standalone by the author.