Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Review: Ghost Hold

Ghost Hold
Ghost Hold by Ripley Patton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I greatly enjoyed the first book in this series (which you need to read first; there's not much recap or explanation of the situation, even to the point of not defining key terms like "PSS" or "CAMFers"). I enjoyed this one somewhat less, for a couple of reasons which may turn out to be at least partly moot when the third book comes out.

Firstly, there's a massive coincidence. The author even hangs a lampshade on it and has her first-person main character remark on how much of a coincidence it is. The group go to a city in another state, and not only does it happen to be the city where her best friend's brother attends college, but they happen to meet him completely at random. I'm not sure if it makes it better or worse that the meeting doesn't really do anything except add more angst to an already angsty situation.

(Oh, while I think of it, this girl who's never dated and considers herself unattractive is pursued by three different boys simultaneously. Fortunately, this is her main claim to Mary Sueness.)

The other thing that reduced my enjoyment (and this partly is a personal preference) is that the tragedy dial suddenly gets turned up extra-high near the end. I probably could have dealt with it better if it had been more gradual. As it was, things were going along, not really well, but no worse than in the first book, and then as if in a rush became significantly worse in all possible ways - and that's where we leave our heroine.

As I say, I expect at least some of the tragedy to get reversed and resolved in the course of the third book (or else I'll be very vexed indeed), and there may even be some explanation for the coincidence, though I'm not holding my breath for that one.

Apart from those issues, I did enjoy this. Olivia's snark is in full flight, with observations like "the one thing Samantha was insecure about was her security," which I thought was clever. Her reactions to the situations she finds herself in are convincingly teenage without being pathetic; she's tough, but she's far from heartless. Things matter to her, and she's driven by them into bad situations, which is a great way to create a story.

I'm definitely looking forward to the third book, and some answers.

I obtained a copy of this book via Netgalley for purposes of review.

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