I picked up this novella as part of a Humble Bundle sale, because there were other books I was more interested in reading. But it’s short (99 pages) and I figured since I just finished reading something a little bit on the heavier side I could use a little light reading.
Alas. This was not the book I hoped it would be.
Jaime Vegas is a spiritualist, which means she cold and hot reads people and convinces them they’re talking to loved ones. She’s also a necromancer, which means she can really talk to people’s loved ones. Her boyfriend is an alpha werewolf/kitsune hybrid and the two of them have sex three times that I counted in 99 pages; once in a bit of detail, the other two implied.
I’m sorry. You wanted to know about the plot? Thin as it is, here you go: Jaime is “convinced” to be part of a reality show. This is very much against her will. And it’s all fun and games until real ghosts start showing up and putting on a show of their own.
Which, you know. Sounds reasonable for the genre.
And I think the worst thing is that Armstrong does have a deft touch for characterization, even if I didn’t really like either of the main characters, and for the little details that matter in terms of giving a story, even one set in the not-quite-real world like this one, that hint of verisimilitude. The pacing wasn’t bad; it moved swiftly enough to keep me engaged right up until the end.
But the end of the book is a disaster. Not a literal one, a figurative one, but a disaster nonetheless. It left me feeling cheated and irritated and asking “is that seriously all there is? Seriously?” and generally destroyed all goodwill I had toward the book to begin with. I gave it two stars when I finished reading it last night and I stand by that rating; what comes before is not enough to make up for how the book ends. Which is too bad, really.
Also not really thrilling for me were the illustrations, but that’s not the book’s fault.
I don’t know if I’ll pick anything else up by Armstrong. I do know that I don’t recommend this book — and it’s not even about my not being the target audience.
Here’s hoping that the next thing I read from this humble bundle is more to my liking.