Charlotte Silver's parents are famous paranormal investigators and skeptics. When the family ends up in Charleston, they encounter a very strong spiriCharlotte Silver's parents are famous paranormal investigators and skeptics. When the family ends up in Charleston, they encounter a very strong spirit that attaches itself to Charlotte and begins complicating her life. Adding to Charlotte's woes, after moving to a new town, starting at a new school and somehow landing a new bestie who just happens to be the head of the popular crowd, Charlotte finds herself embroiled in a mystery surrounding said bestie, her absentee boyfriend, Adam, and resident bad boy Jared James.
The book started out with a lot of promise but ultimately fizzled. Right from the beginning there were some serious disconnects. We're told that Charlotte's parents don't believe in the paranormal, that they drive around in a van labeled "Doubt" and yet they have ghost detecting equipment, speak the ghost hunter lingo and get really, really excited about paranormal indicators like EVP, light orbs and energy spikes. For supposed skeptics they sure as heck act like they believe in ghosts, despite their weak arguments to the contrary. Next we're told that Charlotte's sister, Abby, is chum - a ghost magnet used frequently during documentary shoots. While I laughed at the term and love the concept, Abby was way to jumpy for someone who's occupied that position most of her life. The same goes for Charlotte. Supposedly they grew up being dragged through haunted houses, dungeons, creepy dark places, and yet Abby freaks out because she gets a deep sense of sadness from a location shoot? It doesn't track.
Another pet peeve for me was Charlotte's sudden and intense friendship with Avery. Charlotte moves to town and magically makes friends with the head cheerleader? Because NONE of Avery's otherwise apparently attentive friends are around in the weeks before school starts? It just doesn't fit. More-over, not one of those existing friends has a problem taking Charlotte into their tight-knit clique when school starts. And the mystery surrounding Avery's boyfriend and what really happened to him? Utterly ridiculous. [spoiler]For goodness sake, Jared isn't willing to admit he crashed his car because he swerved to avoid Avery's dog? Really? He's just going to be vilified and not say a word? And because he swerved to avoid hitting the dog, Jared somehow believes he murdered his best friend in the accident? He believes it so much he TELLS Avery he murdered Adam. But of course he won't tell Avery he crashed because of her dog - that would be too traumatic for everyone. I felt like there was a lot of lead up to the reveal of what happened to Adam and why and then to have it be something so ridiculously simple felt very disappointing.[/spoiler]
The actual writing wasn't bad, nice descriptions, excellent scene-setting and a good pace throughout the novel. The characters were distinctive and dialogue was well done. The plot holes and stumbles, however, were too much of a distraction and the decent writing style couldn't rescue the overall story. I think that Mara Purnhagen shows a lot of promise as a writer and I'll be interested to see what she writes in the future. This particular book just wasn't to my taste. ...more
Tessa is a covert operative with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities branch of the FBI, the FEA. Like her fellow FEA agents, Tessa posses a uniqueTessa is a covert operative with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities branch of the FBI, the FEA. Like her fellow FEA agents, Tessa posses a unique ability, a mutant adaption that sets her apart from the rest of humanity. In Tessa's case she has the ability to transform into anyone she touches, an exact carbon copy. Her best friend can turn invisible and the boy she's crushing on in the FEA has super-human strength. People like Tessa and her friends are called Variants and not all Variants are good. Tessa gets her first field experience when a series of gruesome murders rocks a tiny town. The FEA suspects Variant involvement and Tessa is sent in to impersonate one of the teen victims who died - popular Madison Sinclair.
There are a surprising number of negative reviews for this book. Despite some issues, I liked Impostor. The book is fast paced and has an X-men feel to it that appeals to me. For the most part, I liked the characters, from Tessa to Alec and Devon. I liked the serial killer twist. Liked the creepy vibe in some sections and had fun trying to figure out the mystery.
Although I enjoyed the novel, I freely admit it has its fair share of issues as well. It falls into the same trap as many YA books with the heroine being just a bit too boy-crazy, not fighting her own battles often enough and the occasional descent into purple prose. Tessa's bouts of whininess, her super special status and inexplicable appeal to those of the male persuasion definitely had a Bella Swan-esqueness. And the ending ... yeah that got weird and complicated. I think I can predict where the series is going but I could be wrong. I'm willing to find out and give the second book a chance. This is not my favorite read of the year but it was a guilty pleasure read. I have no idea why I liked it. I just know I did. ...more
Lucy Carlyle is a ghost hunter, one of the newest members of the Lockwood & Co paranormal investigations company. Unlike the other large ghost hunLucy Carlyle is a ghost hunter, one of the newest members of the Lockwood & Co paranormal investigations company. Unlike the other large ghost hunting firms in London, Lockwood & Co has only 3 employees and they're all kids, no grown-up supervisors allowed. When one of their cases goes horribly awry Lockwood & Co may have to close up shop forever - unless of course they agree to take on the most haunted house in Britain. Of course the last team that went in all died.
This was a fun, fast, rollicking read. I fell in love with all of the main characters and I have to admit the creepy descriptions gave me chills and had me leaving a light on as I read late into the night. Stroud is a genius when it comes to descriptions and Lucy's world comes to life in this book. The world building is superb. The grand mystery was easy to figure out halfway through but I didn't care because I was enjoying the story so thoroughly at that point. I had a hard time pining down WHEN this story takes place, however. At first I thought this was set in a Victorian London or a derivation thereof but it became apparent later that the book is actually set in the present - but an alternate present where there are a lot of historic trappings, ghosts run rampant and not all modern conveniences appear to be in common use. That confusion on time and setting was my only complaint in the entire book. I look forward to reading more in this series and eagerly anticipate the next book....more
When Lex's thuggish behavior nearly gets her kicked out of school her parents send her off for the summer to spend time with her Uncle Mort in upstateWhen Lex's thuggish behavior nearly gets her kicked out of school her parents send her off for the summer to spend time with her Uncle Mort in upstate New York. Lex soon discovers that her uncle is actually a Grim Reaper and she's inherited the family gift.
I had such high hopes for this book because the premise was such a fun one. I should have been warned by Uncle Mort's groan-worthy name. There are many, many reasons why I did not like this book and couldn't get farther than chapter 3, but the truly awful puns slipped onto nearly every page were a huge factor. Another factor was my extreme loathing for Lex. Her character is utterly unappealing and unsympathetic. She's self-involved, whiny, and appallingly violent. The tone of the writing was also off for me, a little to 'wink, wink, nudge, nudge, isn't this so terribly clever.'
I cringed at some of the ridiculous descriptions and just shook my head at others. The tone was absurd for the sake of being absurd, without any really basis or anchor. In the end I couldn't force myself to finish the book.
As with all books out there, however, I am certain there are readers who will love this series. Fans of absurdist literature might enjoy this book. It reminded me vaguely, in tone, of The Order of Odd Fish by James Kennedy so fans of that book should give this one a try....more
Fia and Annie were both born with special gifts. Annie can see the future in visions and Fia has perfect instincts that are never, ever wrong. After tFia and Annie were both born with special gifts. Annie can see the future in visions and Fia has perfect instincts that are never, ever wrong. After their parents die in a car crash the two girls fall into the clutches of a special institute that promises to help Annie regain her sight (she became blind as a young child) but in reality the girls are captives, trained and forced to do what the school's founder, Mr. Keane, tells them. Because they love each other they are hostages - if Fia doesn't obey, Annie will die. If Annie doesn't do what she's told they'll torture Fia.
This was a fun, fast read. I loved the complexity of the characters and the tough decisions they were forced to make. Fia and James, Keane's son, are both morally ambiguous and damaged in their own ways. Together, in a twisted way, they work. The one complaint I have about this book is how much it jumped between present and flashback scenes, it was disorienting and a occasionally left me guessing about when the story was taking place. Overall however, I thought this was a brilliant book and can't wait to read the sequel. ...more
Anna is intrigued by the new boy in school, Bennet, but he doesn't seem interested in her. When Bennet ends up saving Anna from a failed robbery attemAnna is intrigued by the new boy in school, Bennet, but he doesn't seem interested in her. When Bennet ends up saving Anna from a failed robbery attempt she learns Bennet's secret: he's a time-traveler able to jump anywhere in the world as long as it's a time when he was alive in the past. Anna can't help falling in love with this boy who can take her literally anywhere. The trouble is - Bennet is 16 years younger than Anna in reality and while he wants to stay with her, he can't always control his jumps and his future seems to be drawing him back.
The premise of this book was really intriguing and the characters are well drawn. The writing is fairly tight with good dialogue, pacing and description. However, some of the situations feel very contrived and there are larger issues that the author just glosses over.
SPOILERS BELOW 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 10
Bennet's ability to create a "do-over" and erase a moment is a little terrifying. Anna has no way of ever knowing if he uses that ability. If they had a fight he could erase it and she'd have no clue. While he might protest that he won't use that ability on her the potential is there and that is asking a huge, huge leap of faith from Anna that he won't be tempted into pulling another do-over on her in the future. That issue is dealt with only sparingly and mostly it's just Anna being pissed that he robbed them both of extra time together, which rather misses the larger point of manipulating someone else's life against their will.
The dilemma of Bennet being yanked away and not able to come back is really well thought out and has a nice punch. Unfortunately that's all tossed out the window in favor of a fairies and rainbows happy ending that is very much author-contrived. We're supposed to believe that because Anna decided to move on with her life, magically it solved BENNET'S inability to remain in her time? HOW? And Why? That doesn't make any sense. I would have give this book four stars if the author had let Bennet stay in the future and Anna in the past. Anna without Bennet is a stronger character and his return weakens the progress she makes in taking control of her own life. She has a moment of independence and actually tries something new and that's all just window-dressing after Bennet returns. I was very disappointed in the ending. ...more
This is a light and quick follow up to Kimmel's first book in the series, Suddenly Supernatural. Like that book this one is an easy, quick read withouThis is a light and quick follow up to Kimmel's first book in the series, Suddenly Supernatural. Like that book this one is an easy, quick read without a ton of depth. It feels as though Kimmel is trying to infuse a bit more into the story but it never quite gets there. Not sure if I'll ready others in the series or not. This is a good choice for middle-grade readers....more
Theseus Cassio Lowood, Cas for short, kills ghosts. His father was a ghost hunter and, after his father's death, Theseus took up the family business.Theseus Cassio Lowood, Cas for short, kills ghosts. His father was a ghost hunter and, after his father's death, Theseus took up the family business. It's hard fitting ghost hunting in when you're a teen but Theseus manages, aided by his mom who's a practicing white witch. Together the two travel from town to town searching out ghosts that have turned deadly. A tip leads Cas to a small town in Ontario, Canada, where Anna Korlov has been murdering transients who wander into her house ever since her own murder way back in 1958. When Cas shows up to lay the smackdown on Anna she tosses him around like stuffed toy and he's forced to reassess the situation. Anna's the most powerful ghost Cas has ever encountered and he feels strangely drawn to her as well.
This novel started out with a ton of promise. The opening chapter was fantastic and drew me right in. Unfortunately it fell apart a bit after that. I like Cas and his mom. The rest of the characters felt fairly flat, however. Cas has been a loner for his entire life. He is happy with that. But when his life gets entangled with some other kids he's suddenly ready to declare his undying friendship and the basis feels thin. Everything is rushed with regards to the relationships in this story - both the friendships and Cas's feelings for Anna. None of it comes across as believable. One minute he's determined to kill Anna the next minute Cas is all conflicted and the moment after that he's desperately in love with her. Those aspects of the story felt contrived.
I know lots of people love this story and it's got decent charaterization, an interesting premise and the writing flows easily. For me, it's just missing that something extra to tie it togehter and make the plot points believable. ...more
I really wanted to love this book because I have a particular fondness for paranormal lit. However, the characters are only mildly interesting, the plI really wanted to love this book because I have a particular fondness for paranormal lit. However, the characters are only mildly interesting, the plot slow and the dialogue utterly stagnate for the most part. The author took every stereotypical trait associated with psychics and applied them liberally to her main character. Abby's spaciness, her speech patterns and the way she would just rattle off a reading the moment she met someone all annoyed. The phrase "I get the feeling" was repeated so many times if you made a drinking game out of it you'd be drunk by the end of the first chapter.
It's not a bad book but definitely not a great one and definitely not to my tastes. I think fans of light romance and mystery may enjoy this book especially if you can disengage your inner book critic. It's a fluffy read with little substance, which I actually normally like but I have to really connect with the characters in those sorts of books and I didn't connect with a single character in this novel....more
Vampire novels seem to be filling the fantasy shelves these days. It's hard to walk into a book store without stumbling over half a dozen. Not all vamVampire novels seem to be filling the fantasy shelves these days. It's hard to walk into a book store without stumbling over half a dozen. Not all vamp novels are created equal however. Touch The Dark isn't bad but it's not one of the shining stars either. The main character tends to drift along through much of the book and the ambiguity of the other characters can be annoying. The one character I liked turned out to be a traitor and thus I was thoroughly disgusted with the book by the end. The premise is interesting but the characters feel rather wooden for the most part and the many of the situations feel contrived. Plus the whole story line with Cassie and one of the older vamps is really squicky. Really, really. Ugh. The sex scenes weren't as tastefully handled as I prefer in the novels I read and overall I found this book a disappointment. I won't be reading any others in the series....more
This started out with a lot of promise. I added this to my list after seeing several people recommend it on an Urban Fantasy post about kick-ass femalThis started out with a lot of promise. I added this to my list after seeing several people recommend it on an Urban Fantasy post about kick-ass female protagonists. I like kick-ass female protagonists. I like Urban Fantasy. Seemed like a win-win situation.
Not so much. This book suffers for an over-abundance of character. Every single character is quirky and snarky and they all deliver great one-liners. After a while it all becomes rote and stretches the bonds of credibility past breaking.
Let's discuss happenstance sidekicks. Sidekicks are not required in Urban Fantasy. They shouldn't be there unless they fit. And yet this cabbie that the protagonist meets in the first chapter is with her for the entire book. Apparently his life is just that boring. Also, he never sleeps and he must have the most flexible work schedule EVER.
Second pet peeve - characters that are way to accepting of the weird. For the most part everyone in this book just sort of accepts that Jo is a shaman and can do freaky weird stuff. She does freaky weird stuff a lot. Like every other page once you're a couple chapters in. And the reader, and the other characters, just take this on faith apparently because Jo is so quick to point out that hey a few days ago SHE wouldn't have believed all this. Pointing out that something is weird does not then make it okay - no matter how often the characters does that. And Jo points it out frequently. Probably once per chapter.
The world building on this book feels shaky and the system of magic is less than stellar. Lots of metaphysical new-age stuff is thrown at the reader but it's hardly ever explained and again we're just supposed to take it on faith that this is the way things work.
Overall, I found the book disappointing and I certainly won't be reading any more in the series. The opening was good. The author has promise. This just feels like some very early work and it definitely could have benefited from a lot of revision and tightening. ...more
Stacey's friend and roommate, Drea, is being stalked by a killer. It's up to Stacey to help Drea survive by using the witchcraft and simple spells herStacey's friend and roommate, Drea, is being stalked by a killer. It's up to Stacey to help Drea survive by using the witchcraft and simple spells her grandmother taught her, from creating a protection jar to pyschic dreams.
The characters in this book were completely wooden and cliche. There was no depth to any of them. I felt as though I was watching a teen slasher movie filled with idiot kids just lining up to be knifed. Drea's reactions are inconsistent and bizarre. One moment Stacey is her best friend and the next she's being bitchy for no reason and then disolving into tears because OMG someone wants to kill her but oh wait, no don't do something sensible like call the police. Very annoying. The writing is passable, the plot limps along and the pace is agonizingly slow and tepid.
Fans of teen slasher books like RL Stein's may enjoy this book, anyone looking for more substance than that will be disappointed. I had to stop reading after getting halfway through the book, I was just getting too annoyed and had no interest in finishing....more