carol.’s guideline for identifying sub-optimal YA books:
1) Everyone is supermodel attractive, even the villains.
2) They all ‘smirk.’ (I believe there’s over 20 instances in this one).
I don’t really like to leave a less than raving review on a new author’s work, but since there isn’t much out there, I’ll share my thoughts. Though this does fall into paranormal territory, I picked it up because Ilona Andrews raved about it on a blog post. Of course, Andrews also recommends her BFF Jeanie Frost, who wrote Halfway to the Grave, so I knew there was potential for suck. But the free didn’t hurt, either.
Divided into three parts, I found myself experiencing diminishing returns. First section was very good, the second decent, and the third pretty much resulted in skimming. It follows a woman working as a waitress as she frees ghosts from the issues anchoring them to the earth. One night she runs into a ghost that has a more solid presence but still suffers from typical ghost amnesia. It turns out he and her angel chaperone recognize each other, which ends up being the basis for the first section.
Overall, the book was decent but still notable for genre tropes. Hot men everywhere. A female BFF that is largely in the background. Speshul powers. Insta-attraction that can’t be consummated. The first book is interesting enough to mitigate some of those issues, but by the time the battle in the third comes around, I had lost interest. TSTL mistakes in the second and third sections moved it into ‘vaguely annoying’ territory. Regarding world-building, it bothered me that (view spoiler)
For me, the story leading up to the start of the book has the potential to be the most interesting: how did she escort almost 200 souls on to their final destination? I certainly wouldn’t rule Kyoko out in the future, but as it is, parnormal is just not my genre. In that sense, Ilona is right: Kyoko probably would have hit it big had it been written 7 years ago when paranormal was at a height.