Review: Hereafter by Tara Hudson

 

Title: Hereafter

Author: Tara Hudson

Publisher: HarperTeen

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Can there truly be love after death?

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she’s dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she’s trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, Hereafter is a sensation you won’t want to miss.

Review:

I did not find this ghost story very compelling.  Amelia is a ghost with no recollection of her past.  All she knows is that she met a watery end in a river.  After she saves Joshua from drowning, she is astonished to discover that he can see her and hear her.  Even more amazing – she can touch him.  Can a ghost discover love with a living, breathing guy?

I love the premise of Hereafter, because I am a sucker for love stories where the odds are so firmly stacked against the protagonists that it seems impossible for them to ever get together.  It doesn’t get much harder to find a happy  ever after than for a ghost to fall in love with a living person.  Unfortunately, the narrative style just did not click for me.  Amelia’s endless and overly verbose inner dialog did not engage me in the story.  Amelia’s lack of memories didn’t work either, and I found that being firmly anchored to the present, with no chance of reflection on past events or mistakes, a plot device that didn’t work for me.  She did constantly relive her death, but because she kept running away from the memories, she never stopped to think about why she materialized in the exact same place every single time she had the nightmares about her death.  If she had only looked around herself, she would have discovered many key answers to the questions that were burning in her mind.

Joshua’s relatives are Seers, and they have exorcised lingering spirits for generations.  When his grandmother sees Amelia, she immediately wants Joshua to get rid of her. Permanently.  This would have been a great conflict if it hadn’t been pushed to the background midway through the book.  I am sure that the Seers will play a larger role in Arise, but I would have liked to see them meddle more with the protagonists this volume.

Eli, the evil ghost, came off as a creepy stalker.  He was one-dimensional, and very boring.  I found his aggressive behavior toward Amelia disturbing and his comeuppance lacking.  After your character has been painted to be so evil, I think you need a really memorable end.  I don’t think Eli’s was harsh enough, given his cruelty to Amelia.

I was looking forward to enjoying Hereafter, but the book just didn’t work for me.  Many other reviewers did enjoy it, so it was disappointing that I did not.

Grade: D+

Available in Print and Digital For a limited time, the eBook is only .99 and includes bonus materials!

Review copy purchased from Amazon

 

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Review: Arise by Tara Hudson


 

   Title: Arise

   Author: Tara Hudson

   Publisher: HarperTeen

   ISBN: 978-0062026798

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Amelia—still caught between life and death—must fight for every moment of her relationship with the human boy Joshua. They can hardly even kiss without Amelia accidentally dematerializing. Looking for answers, they go to visit some of Joshua’s Seer relatives in New Orleans. But even in a city so famously steeped in the supernatural, Amelia ends up with more questions than answers…and becomes increasingly convinced that she and Joshua can never have a future together.Wandering through the French Quarter, Amelia meets other in-between ghosts, and begins to seriously consider joining them. And then she meets Gabrielle. Somehow, against impossible odds, Gaby has found a way to live a sort of half-life…a half-life for which Amelia would pay any price. Torn between two worlds, Amelia must choose carefully, before the evil spirits of the netherworld choose for her.

Review:

Arise picks up where Hereafter left off, with Amelia still a ghost and a long term relationship with Joshua looking more and more unlikely.  Nobody can see her, after all, and he looks like a nut case walking through the school campus holding her hand or talking to her.  Worse, he is avoiding his friends and starting to lose his social standing at school so he can spend time with her.  This only makes Amelia feel guilty and stressed out.  She realizes that a relationship with her will make Joshua a social outcast and it’s tearing her up inside. 

I thought that the setting and story elements were stronger in Arise than Hereafter.  Joshua’s family heads to New Orleans to spend the Christmas holidays with family, and Amelia is immediately surrounded by a group of young Seers.  Instead of wanting to banish her forever, they seem to want to help her.  Can she trust them?  I was immediately skeptical of their motives.  Joshua’s sister, Jillian, had me the most suspicious.  After Amelia saved her from certain death and her Seer abilities were unlocked, Jillian did nothing but deny that she can see and hear Amelia.  I kept wondering why she trying to be deceptive.  Was it because she was in denial, or was there a more sinister motive behind it?

Without giving too much of the plot away, I did like the voodoo aspects that were introduced to the storyline, but wish that that they were a little more believable.  Amelia’s new friend, Gabby, performs a voodoo ritual that drastically changes Amelia.  The ritual was supposedly learned by reading a spell in a voodoo priestess’ shop, and it just seemed wrong to me that Gabby could alter the dead just by reading a spell in a book.  Even though she was interested in voodoo and even though she was related to a voodoo practitioner, I would have expected that a spell that powerful would demand a lot more effort than waiting for the book to be left open on that particular page.  Maybe by virtue of the fact that they are in New Orleans, the very air that surrounded Gabby gave her the knowledge and the magical powers necessary to perform the spell. 

I felt that this book is guilty of telling, instead of showing, what is going on.  There were huge info dumps after Amelia meets the other Seers, as well as after she meets Gabby.  These scenes of long explanatory exchanges were boring to me, and made me question the believability of the facts being revealed.  It ruined the suspense for me, and bogged down the story.

This series isn’t really clicking for me, and I don’t think I will continue with it.  While the premise is awesome, the writing style doesn’t work for me.  All of those snapping and whipping heads, along with the twisted lips and snarling, growling, and hissing just sounds painful and overdone.  Nobody just says anything in Arise – they shriek, gasp, and choke constantly, which made me relieved that Amelia was already dead.  The constant recoiling, flopping, and clawing would probably have killed her if she wasn’t already a ghost.

If you enjoyed Hereafter, you will enjoy Arise.  If you are new to the series, I suggest sampling a few chapters before purchasing.

Grade: C-

Available in Print and Digital

Review copy provided by publisher

 

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Cover Shot! The Ravenous Dead by Natasha Hoar

Cover Shot! is a regular feature here at the Café.  I love discovering new covers, and when I find them, I like to share.  More than anything else, I am consumed with the mystery that each new discovery represents.  There is an allure to a beautiful cover.  Will the story contained under the pages live up to promise of the gorgeous cover art?

I loved The Stubborn Dead by Natasha Hoar, so I did a happy dance when I saw the cover for her next release, The Ravenous Dead.  I can hardly wait to read this!  If you enjoy Urban Fantasy, give Natasha’s series a try.  The stories are fun and packed with a ton of action!

 

 

This time the dead are hungry…

Rachel Miller doesn’t just see dead people, she rescues them. As a member of The Order of Rescue Mediums, she spends most of her time helping stubborn spirits move on from the world. But after she learns the details of three brutal murders, she knows the culprit can only be a reaper, an undead monster that relentlessly stalks its victims to feed on their souls.

A reaper once consumed the soul of Rachel’s mentor as she watched frozen in fear. Now, Rachel is in the role of teacher to Kit Elkeles, a rodach just learning to control his wraithlike powers. After Kit and Rachel rescue a half-vampire, they work to protect him while searching for a way to stop the reaper. But when Rachel realizes who the monster is really after—and just what kind of dark magic she’ll need to stop it—will she be able to do what is necessary before it devours one of her friends…or even herself?

Available July 2012

 

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Interview with Yolanda Sfetsos, Author of A Patch of Darkness

Yolanda Sfetsos is the author of A Patch of Darkness, the first book in her Sierra Fox series.  Yolanda visited the virtual offices to chat up her new book, so check out what she has to say.

[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Yolanda Sfetsos] Wife. Mother. Writer. Bibliophile. Dreamer. Animal lover. Intrigued by the supernatural. Horror freak. Zombie enthusiast. Movie & music fan.

(This is exactly 140 characters. I checked on Twitter, lol.)

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about A Patch of Darkness?

[Yolanda Sfetsos] A Patch of Darkness is the first book in my urban fantasy series about a spook catcher. It’s set in Sydney, but it’s an alternate version of our world, where ghosts are an accepted part of society and have certain rights. There are other supernatural creatures as well, but they’re still a secret—well, except for the people who know about them.

[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Yolanda Sfetsos] I’ve always loved ghost stories. They’re spooky, intriguing, and always make me wonder about what’s really out there. When I set out to write this story, I wanted to explore a world where everyone knew that ghosts exist, but only a select few can actually interact with them.

I also wanted a large cast of characters with different backgrounds and problems, all forced to work together. Oh, and a complicated love life for the heroine.

After I had all of those ingredients, the concept was born and the world was full of characters.

[Manga Maniac Café] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?

[Yolanda Sfetsos] The most challenging aspect was—and still is—keeping all the details consistent. There’s so much, and it’s easy for me to forget a small detail that can make a huge impact. So I keep a Sierra Fox Bible, where I write down as much info, research, and details as I can.

[Manga Maniac Café] What are three things Sierra would never have in in her bedroom?

[Yolanda Sfetsos] A jinxed amulet, demons and shadows. You’ll know exactly what I mean if you read the book. ;)

[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Yolanda Sfetsos] The world around me is often my biggest creative influence. It doesn’t take much to get my mind wandering and eventually coming up with either a character and/or story. Then, when I’ve got something that fits into everyday life, I like to throw in the supernatural.

I’m pretty obsessed with supernatural creatures and phenomena, and if I think about them often enough my muse starts buzzing.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Yolanda Sfetsos] I need my computer/laptop, story notes, as well as pen and paper. Oh, wait, isn’t that really four things?

[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Yolanda Sfetsos] I would have to say Rumble Fish by S.E. Hinton. After I read that in school, I couldn’t get other books fast enough.

[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Yolanda Sfetsos] When I’m not writing I love spending time with my family. I also enjoy going for walks, and working out with my hubby. Oh, and watching my fave TV shows—especially Castle, The Walking Dead, and Jon Stewart.

I also love to read.

[Manga Maniac Café] What do you enjoy most about urban fantasy?

[Yolanda Sfetsos] Definitely the freedom to include so much of what I love in storytelling—blending the supernatural into a contemporary existence, a touch of horror, complicated relationships, love triangles, mystery, suspense, monsters… that type of thing. ;)

[Manga Maniac Café] How can readers connect with you?

[Yolanda Sfetsos] Here are my links:

Website: www.yolandasfetsos.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/yolandasfetsos
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/yolandasfetsos
Newsletter: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/yolandasfetsos/
Email: yolanda@yolandasfetsos.com

It was a lot of fun! Thanks so much for having me over at your blog.

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!


A Patch of Darkness hits stores May 15.  You can purchase A Patch of Darkness from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below:

Synopsis:

All it takes is one weak seam for everything to fall apart.

Sierra Fox, Book 1

In a perfect world, Sierra Fox would have stayed away from the Council she left years ago. But in this world—where spirits have the right to walk among the living—it’s her job to round up troublesome spooks and bring them before that very same Council.

Though her desk is piled high with open cases, she can’t resist an anonymous summons to a mysterious late-night meeting with a bunch of other hunters, each of whom seems to have a unique specialty. The news is dire: something is tearing at the fabric of the universe. If the hunters can’t find who or why in time, something’s going to give in a very messy way.

As current cases, family secrets, new clues and her tangled love life slowly wind themselves into an impossible knot, Sierra finds herself the target of a power-sucking duo intent on stealing her mojo. And realizing she holds the key to the last hope of sealing the widening rift.

Warning: Spook catching: may contain traces of ectoplasm and otherworldly nasties. Not recommended for those with allergies to ghosts, demons, and with boyfriends who think your power is theirs. While reading, avoid dark patches and stay to the light.

Waiting on Wednesday–Body & Soul by Stacey Kade

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

I love Stacey Kade’s The Ghost and the Goth series.  The last book, Queen of the Dead, kind of left readers hanging, so I can hardly wait to get my hands on the next installment.  Body & Soul hits stores May 1st!

Alona Dare has been living as Lily “Ally” Turner for over a month…and it’s not been easy. Besides being trapped in a body so not as good as her original one, she’s failing miserably at playing the sister and daughter of people she barely knows. Plus, she can’t help but think that Will Killian – the boy she hates to care about – somehow wishes the real Lily were back.

She and Will have been trying to find a solution, looking for a two-for-one miracle that would free Alona and keep Lily alive. Visits to local psychics have proven useless, but then they stumble across Malachi the Magnificent, who seems to be different. His office is full of ghosts, for one thing. But Malachi doesn’t seem to hear or see them, which is odd. Plus, he bolts the moment he sees Will. To make things even weirder, Misty Evans, Alona’s former best friend, is waiting in Malachi’s lobby and claiming that she’s being haunted. By Alona.

Will’s convinced that Malachi has answers, while Alona is all kinds of pissed that someone’s impersonating her. But their efforts to uncover the truth will bring them much unwanted attention and put them directly in the path of a ghost who will stop at nothing for another stab at life. Even if it means destroying Alona.

 

In stores May 1, 2012

 

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Review: The Stubborn Dead by Natasha Hoar

 

Title: The Stubborn Dead

Author: Natasha Hoar

Publisher: Carina Press

ISBN: B006BVTFT4

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Rachel Miller thought her next job was a run-of-the-mill haunting. As a member of the Order of Rescue Mediums it’s her duty to release trapped spirits from the earthly realm. But when called to client Sylvia Elkeles’s house, she finds a wraith who doesn’t act like he should.

The Order considers the wraith an extreme threat and Rachel may be forced to use a barbaric ritual to free him—a ritual that comes with a heavy personal price. If she fails to humanely release the wraith, she’ll have her supernatural abilities bound.

When Janus Ostara—local supernatural mob boss—shows up demanding her attention, and Sylvia keeps secrets that may place Rachel in mortal danger, she doesn’t need her abilities to know something darkly sinister is at play.

Between uncovering Sylvia’s disturbing motives, and avoiding Janus, Rachel has enough on her hands without dealing with a wraith who may not realize he’s supposed to be dead…,

Review:

I loved this novella from the first sentence to the last!  It starts with a bang, and the excitement never lets up.  Rachel, a Rescue Medium, releases spirits that are trapped, or refuse to leave, the earthly realm.  She’s good at her job, powerful, and confident in her abilities.  When she is set-up and forced to engage a wraith far outside of powers of any spirit she has ever encountered, she faces dismissal from Order that governs the rescue mediums, as well as the threat of having her powers sealed away.  So not a good way to start the day!

I haven’t read many Urban Fantasies, and as I experiment with new titles and authors, I am finding a lot to like out there.  Since so many of the UF titles are series, it’s intimidating to try to jump onboard after there are already several volumes available on bookstore shelves.  Whenever I see a new series, I have been making it a habit to try to read them.  Since The Stubborn Dead is a novella, and I had just finished up some other Carina Press novellas, I was even more tempted to read this.  I squeezed it into the schedule, and was pleasantly surprised with the pacing and the characters.  I also loved Natasha Hoar’s writing style – her prose grabbed me right away, and didn’t let go.  Once I started reading the story, I really, really did not want to stop.

Rachel is a great character.  She is capable, confident, fearless. Even when a nasty spirit is trying to bash her through a wall, her determination to successfully finish a job never wavers.  So when she encounters the wraith that Sylvia Elkele has hired her to get rid of, she is taken aback.  Nothing makes the powerful spirit pause for even a second, and Rachel finds herself retreating, hastily, from her first attempt to subdue it.  Now that she has engaged it, though, she has no choice but to defeat it, and to make things even more interesting, the Order has given her a deadline.  She has 48 hours to handle her spirit problem, or she will be unemployed and powerless.  Yikes! 

I enjoyed the mystery that Rachel found herself embroiled in, and found her both a clever and interesting character.  Impulsive, to be sure, and that made her even more relatable for me.  She doesn’t often stop to think things through, and this impatience gets her into a lot of trouble.  She is also overconfident, a character flaw that almost gets her killed.  I also liked her fearlessness.  She is up against badass spirits, and she doesn’t hesitate to enter into each new fray. 

I loved this novella, and I am looking forward to more from Natasha Hoar.  This was such a fun read that she has been added to my auto-buy list.

Grade: A-

Available January 23

Review copy provided by publisher

 

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Review: Embers by Laura Bickle

 

Title: Embers

Author: Laura Bickle

Publisher: Pocket

ISBN: 978-1439167656

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Truth burns.Unemployment, despair, anger—visible and invisible unrest feed the undercurrent of Detroit’s unease. A city increasingly invaded by phantoms now faces a malevolent force that further stokes fear and chaos throughout the city.Anya Kalinczyk spends her days as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department, and her nights pursuing malicious spirits with a team of eccentric ghost hunters. Anya—who is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern—suspects a supernatural arsonist is setting blazes to summon a fiery ancient entity that will leave the city in cinders. By Devil’s Night, the spell will be complete, unless Anya—with the help of her salamander familiar and the paranormal investigating team—can stop it.Anya’s accustomed to danger and believes herself inured to loneliness and loss. But this time she’s risking everything: her city, her soul, and a man who sees and accepts her for everything she is. Keeping all three safe will be the biggest challenge she’s ever faced.

Review:

I haven’t heard much about this book, but when I was given the opportunity to read it, I jumped at the chance.  The story takes place in my backyard, and I have recently started reading urban fantasies.  Plus, the protagonist’s occupation as an arson investigator for the Detroit Fire Department seemed interesting to me.  Mainly, though, I wanted to see Detroit through someone else’s eyes.  What I ended up liked best about the story were the characters, especially Anya’s familiar, a fire elemental named Sparky. 

Anya is investigating a string of arsons, and the pressure is on to catch the firebug before someone gets hurt.  She is baffled by fires, because she can’t figure out how they have been started.  She’s at a total loss until a talkative ghost and a mysterious symbol give her a few leads.  As she delves deeper into the case, she finds herself in a race against the clock, because on Devil’s Night, someone very powerful has one goal in mind – to awaken Sirrush, a nightmare beast that will burn the city to the ground.

My description is kind of weak, and there is so much more going on here than indicated in the blurb above.  I don’t want to give away any spoilers, though, so I’ll keep the plot details vague.  Instead, let me share the reasons why I couldn’t put this book down.

First and foremost, I felt an instant connection with Anya.  She has a creepy power, and she has had to keep it a secret from almost everyone.  She is a Lantern, and she can consume ghosts.  Only a few people are aware of her ability, and most of them are members of a group of paranormal researchers.  Anya helps them when they get in over their heads, even though she would prefer not to.  She’s not fond of the idea of them studying her, and she feels uncomfortable eating ghosts.  She has spent most of her life trying to ignore them, because,  face it – people give you funny looks when they see you talking to something they can’t see.  Go figure.

Anya is both tough and vulnerable, and I liked her immensely.  She makes mistakes, she’s human, and sometimes she doesn’t learn from errors in judgment.  She has flaws, and I liked that about her.  They get her into trouble.  They make it hard for her to trust people.  They make it impossible for her to accept love, and keep her at arm’s length from almost everyone.  The only emotional connection that she really has is with Sparky, the fire elemental that has always protected her.  And guess what? Nobody else can see him, and he totally takes advantage of that.

I loved Sparky.  He is like an unruly dog.  He leaves a trail of damaged electronics in his wake, because he can’t stop himself from tasting them.  He licks the life right out of them.  New microwave? So tasty!  Now it’s a blackened husk.  I don’t want to think about what he would do to my iPad or my laptop, or any of my other beloved gadgets.  As Anya’s circumstances became ever more grave, I actually started to fret about Sparky.  Like any good guardian, he would give his life in her defense.  So as I became more attached to both characters, I began to stress out.  Would something awful happen to Sparky?  This is the reason I avoid stories about dogs.  I just can’t handle the fear that something bad will happen to them!

If you enjoy urban fantasies, I highly recommend giving Embers a read.  It is suspenseful, the characters, even the villain, are engaging, and the pacing is fast and furious.  I wish there had been more details given about the world-building and the magic, instead of it just being there.  The final confrontation with the bad guy was also a bit of a let down and was just too tidy.  The run-up to the finale was a blast, though, and I am looking forward to reading more by Laura Bickle.

Grade: B+ leaning towards an A-

Review copy provided Bewitching Book Tours

Review: Dark Souls by Paula Morris

 

Title: Dark Souls

Author:  Paula Morris

Publisher:  Point

ISBN: 978-0545251327

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Welcome to York, England.

Mist lingers in the streets.

Narrow buildings cast long shadows.

This is the most haunted city in the world. . . .

Miranda Tennant arrives in York with a terrible, tragic secret. She is eager to lose herself amid the quaint cobblestones, hoping she won’t run into the countless ghosts who supposedly roam the city. . . .

Then she meets Nick, an intense, dark-eyed boy who knows all of York’s hidden places and histories. Miranda wonders if Nick is falling for her, but she is distracted by another boy — one even more handsome and mysterious than Nick. He lives in the house across from Miranda and seems desperate to send her some sort of message. Could this boy be one of York’s haunted souls?

Soon, Miranda realizes that something dangerous — and deadly — is being planned. And she may have to face the darkest part of herself in order to unravel the mystery — and find redemption.

Review:

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Dark Souls.  I seem to be saying that a lot recently about books I’ve just finished, and that’s a good thing.  I like to be surprised, and I like when a story veers off the well-beaten path and travels into new territory.  The same cookie-cutter paranormal romances quickly burn me out on the genre, so it was a pleasant change to read a story with ghosts, a romance interest who differed from the norm, and a mystery that is slowly pieced together, one seemingly unrelated event after another, until it snowballs into a night of dread and disaster.  Paula Morris made all of her protagonists face their biggest fears in a heart-racing run to the conclusion of the novel.  The last one hundred pages held my attention, and I found it difficult to put the book down. 

Miranda is grieving the loss of her best friend, Jenna, who died in a car accident.  The prologue recounts the horrible crash that almost robs Miranda of both Jenna and her brother, Rob.  After freeing herself from the smashed car, Miranda, in shock, learns that Rob will be fine once the firemen can cut him out of the crushed car, but that Jenna didn’t make it.  As she sits huddled in a ball of misery, she sees Jenna leave the car and walk towards her, running her fingers through Miranda’s hair.  After the night that changed everything for both Miranda and Rob, Miranda discovers that she can see ghosts.  I thought this was a great setup for Miranda’s unwanted ability to catch glimpses of spirits, and it reeled me into the story.  Those opening pages were so compelling that it took a while for me to get involved in the rest of the book, which chugs along like a freight train, slowly gathering momentum and building suspense. 

With Rob suffering from anxiety attacks and severe claustrophobia, and Miranda still in a daze, their worried parents drag them to England on a working vacation.  Once Miranda steps onto the streets of York, she sees one ghost after another in the ancient city.  Once a Roman outpost, the village has a long and, occasionally, violent history.  So not the place to be if you can see ghosts!

I thought the setting was intriguing, and that the historical details of the village gave the story more depth.  As Miranda learns more about the history and the local ghosts haunting various sites in York, she begins to wonder if there’s a way she can help some of the ghosts.  After she meets Nick, a mysterious boy with a past as tragic as her own, Miranda thinks that she’s met a kindred spirit.  Only Nick can understand her, because Nick shares her unwanted ability to see ghosts.

While there are romantic elements to Dark Souls, I wouldn’t consider the story a romance.  The relationship between Nick and Miranda is built on their shared unhappiness more than their attraction to each other.  To Miranda, Nick is exotic and aloof, and she longs to understand him.   She longs to save him from the self-destructive path he’s set on.  She couldn’t save Jenna, so she is determined to save this strange, sad boy she can’t help but be drawn to.   Nick is dangerous and dark and unapproachable, yet oddly vulnerable at the same time. 

As the mystery behind the coldly handsome ghost in the window across the street from Miranda’s room is slowly revealed, all of the pieces of the mystery behind Nick and his brother are neatly fitted together.  The mystery is compelling and had me on the edge of my seat as the conclusion thundered ever closer.  Fans of Clarity by Kim Harrington will find a lot to like here.  As the novel draws to a close, I also felt that Miranda and Rob, both suffering from that awful moment when both of their lives changed forever, will finally be able to move beyond that tragedy, and will be able to look toward the future.  The accident will always be a part of their past, but now they will be able to move beyond it and live for themselves, freed from the guilt that threatened to suffocate them before their eventful trip to York.

Grade: B

Review copy provided by {Teen} Book Scene