Series: Spirit Caller #2
Format Read: ebook
Release Date: February 25, 2013
Buying Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble
Book Blurb (from goodreads):
A rash of teen suicides shakes the remote Newfoundland village that Rachel Mills calls home. As Rachel helps the school investigate, painful memories from her past – events she’s worked very hard to forget – resurface and won’t go back into the grave where they belong.
As if she didn’t have enough problems with her personal life! Her beloved 93-year-old neighbor falls ill. The man Rachel’s in love with moves into her house–along with his girlfriend, the most perfect woman in creation. And a strung-out wreck of a woman claiming to be Rachel’s biological mother shows up on her doorstep.
But it isn’t until a local boy with a talent for spellwork is attacked by a mysterious stranger that Rachel asks the question she’s avoided her whole life: how powerful can a Spirit Caller like herself become?
Look at that cover! The colors are gorgeous and the overall atmosphere is spooky and the image is a good representation of what happens in the book. I wish this were available in print so I could just look at the cover; as is, I have to turn on my laptop and open my book covers folder, open the book in Adobe Editions or open up goodreads or Krista's site. And I'm just not that obsessed. :D Yeah I have it in Kindle also but I have the e-reader and not the Fire so no color, just boring black and white.
Okay, enough rambling about the cover. I read the first book when it came out in January 2012 but didn't get a chance to re-read it before "Dark Whispers" came out. Happily that wasn't a problem. I recalled enough to understand references and Ball also worked in little bits of info here and there so that even if you haven't read the first book, you shouldn't have a problem.
This book is a little longer, about 100 pages and it packs a lot in. It starts out humorously and becomes darker though still with some humorous bits. I was laughing and laughing the first 10 or so pages, and Ball's summary of the typical paranormal romance cracked me up:
It was a dark and stormy night. A good paranormal romance could never have a better opening. You know how it goes. Girl meets boy. Boy is a vampire. Girl gives in to carnal temptation. Tab A inserts into Slot B. Someone shoves an assault rifle up a demon's ass. Everyone lives happy ever after.When the book starts, Rachel could use some romance in her life. She is in love with a local Mountie, Jeremy, but instead they are just friends. He has a steady girlfriend and both of them are staying at Rachel's house while repair work is done at Jeremy's apartment after it was flooded. Yep, Rachel's a glutton for punishment. It doesn't help that Donna is practically perfect in every way. Add in Rachel's distress over the recent teen suicides and her neighbor's failing health, and she's an emotional mess. So naturally, that's when Rachel's biological mother shows up on her door step.
The book zooms along from there, with Rachel dealing with both her biological mother and adoptive mother, more teen suicides and attempted suicides, a neighbor who is convinced she's in league with Satan due to to her ability to communicate with spirits and call them to her, more teen suicides, unhappy memories of her teen years, an assassin, her new and unwanted, quite bossy, spirit sidekick, her love life and her neighbor who is also her best friend. That sounds like a lot for a hundred pages but it never felt rushed or crammed, and several times I was in tears. It's a heck of an emotional ride and along the way Rachel comes to several realizations about herself. One thing about the neighbor who believes Rachel is evil - at one point, he comes over to talk to Rachel about his son and it's a wonderful scene. It's poignant, well-written, had me in tears and shows off Ball's writing skills. She could have taken the easy way out and portrayed David as one dimensional or Rachel as the know-it-all but saintly victim. Instead, we get nuances and depth.
There are unanswered questions and we still have so much to learn about Rachel's background and her abilities, as does Rachel herself. Despite Rachel's abilities and the VERY small town setting, Rachel feels in many ways like someone the reader would know. She's imperfect, she has flaws but they're ordinary, everyday flaws: her eating habits need improvement, she's shy, hates to ask for help, etc. Although she discovers new aspects to her powers in this book, she isn't some ninja, ass-kicking, every-man-has-to-have her urban fantasy heroine that many UF books have. I like that. She holds down a job, has bills to pay, is loyal, has family problems but loves her family, she's sarcastic, kind, and in many respects is just a normal woman. Who can see and talk to ghosts.
There's enough detail so that you can visual people and places but you aren't drowning in detail, the story is the thing. The characters are rich and real and the plotting is tight. I liked book one but I love this one. There are several more books planned and I am very much looking forward to them, and seeing what happens next.
If the review intrigues you , both this book and the first book are on sale for 99 cents, but the sale ends today. The regular price is $2.99.
The author gifted me an ePub copy and I own a Kindle copy.