Meg Finn is dead, and she doesn't like it one bit! As a troubled teenager, she took her first steps onto a road of crime, and the results proved fatal. But now, on her way to the land of eternal flames, she has a stroke of luck. Saint Peter has discovered that she is one in a million: her balance sheet is totally even she's done the same amount of good in her life as bad, and the only fair course of action is to send her back down to earth for a short time so that her fate can be decided, either up or down.

This is the premise of Eoin Colfer's wickedly funny new novel, The Wish List. The creator of the wildly successful, best-selling Artemis Fowl series, Colfer scores again with this warm and charming book about Meg, who, over the course of the narrative, becomes something of an apprentice ghost, a spirit trying to balance the angel and the devil within her. To make it to the Pearly Gates, she will have to help a crotchety old man named Lowrie McCall the same man she tried to rob before she was killed but she has a limited amount of time in which to do it. To make matters worse, her partner in crime, the also deceased and aptly named Belch, has been assigned the task of thwarting her plans. With the help of a little cyber-demon named Elph, he's hot on Meg's trail as she tries to help Lowrie get rid of a few demons of his own.

Full of Colfer's trademark wit and insightful observations on society and culture, The Wish List grabs the reader quickly and won't let go. The narrative is told with a kid's-eye-view of a world that isn't always kid-friendly. From Saint Peter's cell-phone conversations with secondary demon Beelzebub to Lucifer's steady stream of Oscar-winning actress secretaries, the author creates a whimsical world readers of all ages will appreciate. No doubt about it there are plenty of laughs to be had in The Wish List. It's a devilishly funny book.

James Neal Webb writes from Nashville.

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