For the most part, I enjoyed reading A Gift of Ghosts. The book is well written and an extremely quick read.
The author says in the preface that she based her book in a series which I have never watched nor even heard of, so I do not know how much of it is original, but the concept seemed quite intriguing to me. I found the idea of a town which attracts people with gifts very engaging, as well as the premise of the main character being able to communicate with ghosts but not having the slightest clue of what is going on or how to help them – it was all very new to me. The fact that she is a physicist makes it all even more interesting.
However, there were quite a few things that felt off to me. First and foremost, the pace. Some things felt rushed – there was a lot I would have like to see better explored. On the other hand, the book dragged on in some parts, particularly Akira’s reaction to the town and its members and even her own gift. I also did not find the romance part very believable, it was almost forced.
More things I either didn’t get/confused me/wasn’t fond of:
– The only way Akira could tell if someone was a ghost or not was if other people were addressing/acknowledging them.
– The physical description of Zane. It is said Akira was attracted by his muscles but how does anyone who plays videogames most of the time get them in the first place? No exercise is mentioned at all, other than kayaking with Akira.
– I didn’t like that Akira took so long telling Zane about her experiences with ghosts . I felt it was delayed solely for the purpose of the plot climax later on.
– The scene where Akira seduces Zane felt off character to me. Starting to seduce him in the first place, taking the initiative in anything and everything that happened when there wasn’t even any indication that he was into her before that scene; even the way she undressed, removing her bra so freely after being described as self-conscious and constantly doubting the decisions that led her up to that point just didn’t make much sense to me.
– Akira taking up the job in the first place. Yes, it was said she was impulsive but seriously? Travelling from one end of the country to the other, after signing a 2 year contract to a company she knew nothing about, performing a job which tasks she knew nothing of? How is that believable at all? The way I see it, even the most adventurous person would want to either know a lot more about what the job entailed and/or not commit to a two year contract.
– Luke said he wanted to talk to Dillon and Akira made plans with him for that, but I don’t recall us being told if it even happened at all, and the next thing I knew the narrative had advanced several months (this is one of the most important parts I felt was rushed and wish I had known what happened);
– Henry not being able to touch Dillon when they first met. All the other ghosts were able to touch one another. Was he already fading back then?
– I understand that Akira does not actually know how her gift works but I thought we should have been given some explanations, at least towards the end. Like how ghosts can come back after crossing the door and why Dillon was tied to the car in the first place. I think a character could have been made to discover those answers along with Akira, maybe the researcher Natalya hired.
– I wish we were told about the other people in Tassamara and what each person could do. And Grace too, I don’t recall reading anything about her power.
I found the ending very predictable for the most part. The typical happily ever after what-the-heck-just-happened-talk-about-rushed ending.
There was room for so, so much more. So yes, in the end, more world and character development would have raised my rating.
Read from February 06 to 09, 2015
I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.