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Refreshingly different paranormal story
on March 21, 2012
With paranormal stories flooding the market, especially those involving angsty vampires in romantic relationships with innocent mortal girls, it's a refreshing change to read Krista D. Ball's Spirits Rising.
The protagonist of the story is Rachel. She's a lovely protagonist - not superhuman, beautiful like a model and thin like a rail. She's down-to-earth, has a few kilos she needs to lose, has a crush on a man who's taken, and she can't fight the supernatural side all on her own. Plus, her Christian neighbors in her small town think she's a witch and tape flyers about going to hell on her door and don't want her near their kids.
She's wonderful. I love her. She's a real person, with weaknesses and faults, and she doesn't pretend to be someone - or something - that she's not. She's not above asking for help, cursing or drinking to forget her problems. But she's also human in a very good way - sensitive to kindness, touched by others' problems, funny in her own snarky way and self-critical. Honestly, she's one of the big strengths of this story, which, while not very long (it's a novella, but it's book 1 in a series, so there will be more!), it paints a world so vivid you feel like you've been living there for years.
Exactly this, the vivid world-building, is the story's other big strength. This is achieved not only through the use of colorful, three-dimensional secondary characters, who have their own problems, sense of humor, beliefs and lives, but also through a deep knowledge of the place where the story takes place.
If you're like me, then you enjoy stories which take you places and make you feel like you traveled there. If you've never been to Newfoundland in Canada, then this is your chance to get to know the place. The author comes from there and it shows in the depth of detail, the terms used, the food and drink culture, the language, the whole feel of place that permeates the story - from the howling, icy wind to the behavior of Rachel's neighbors. Even just for this, this story is a thousand times worth reading.
Oh and the spirits are unlike any you've ever seen. I wish I could say more, but that would be a spoiler...
But I almost forgot the novel's third big strength: the snarky, funny voice. Fresh and honest, Rachel's voice carries the story and breathes life into it.
I confess I can't wait for the sequel to the tale of this quirky heroine. I highly recommend it to all readers who love the paranormal, but also those who like stories grounded in real life, with strong heroines who don't wait for a prince charming to come and save the day.
Warning: This is not a romance, and it contains no sparkly vampires.
I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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