18 junho 2011

Review: Queen of the Dead

Publisher: Hyperion (2011)
Format:  Hardcover | 288 pages
Genre(s): Young Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Description (Goodreads): "After being sent back from the light, Alona Dare - former homecoming queen, current Queen of the Dead - finds herself doing something she never expected: working. Instead of spending days perfecting her tan by the pool (her typical summer routine when she was, you know, alive), Alona must now cater to the needs of other lost spirits. By her side for all of this - ugh - “helping of others” is Will Killian: social outcast, seer of the dead, and someone Alona cares about more than she’d like.
Before Alona can make a final ruling on Will’s “friend” or “more” status, though, she discovers trouble at home. Her mom is tossing out Alona’s most valuable possessions, and her dad is expecting a new daughter with his wicked wife. Is it possible her family is already moving on? Hello! She’s only been dead for two months! Thankfully, Alona knows just the guy who can put a stop to this mess.
Unfortunately for Alona, Will has other stuff on his mind, and Mina, a young (and beautiful) seer, is at the top of the list. She’s the first ghost-talker Will’s ever met—aside from his father—and she may hold answers to Will’s troubled past. But can she be trusted? Alona immediately puts a check mark in the “clearly not” column. But Will is - ahem - willing to find out, even if it means leaving a hurt and angry Alona to her own devices, which is never a good idea. 
Packed with romance, lovable characters, and a killer cliffhanger, Queen of the Dead is the out-of-this-world sequel to The Ghost and the Goth."
Warning: Contains SPOILERS!
This sequel to "The Ghost and the Goth" wasn't as entertaining for me as the first book. I don't know if it was the darker tone or simply the more complex plot that the author tried to cram into less-than-300 pages; I just didn't enjoy it as much.

Alona Dare, former cheerleader is now titled "The Queen of the Dead" amongst the ghostly community. She's the ghost to go to if you want access to Will Killian the only human who can see and hear ghosts and therefore help them move on. Alona and Will have a strange relationship being spirit guide and ghost talker respectively and fighting their attraction for each other. And then, one day, everything changes as Will meets another ghost-talker. A female ghost-talker.

"Queen of the Dead" picks up where "The Ghost and the Goth" ended: Will and Alona are now a team with the objective of helping bound spirits reach "the light" (yeah, very Ghost Whisperer). One day, as they are trying to help a ghost, a girl named Mina appears; she is also a "ghost-talker" (term used in this book for people who can feel, see or hear ghosts) but her methods are very different as she seeks to entrap ghosts to get rid of them instead of helping them with their unfinished business. She is part of a Society that thinks ghosts are just energy and echoes of the person that died and not a part of the person.

At first I thought the author was going to pitch Will and Alona against the members of the "Order" (how original), but Kade decided to go for the complicated plot (that needed a few... okay a lot more pages to get properly developed) and puts Will's father in the middle of it all... it seems the old man had some secrets, yada, yada. That's where the author lost me. I thought this particular plotline was too random and there was the little side-drama with Alona taking place that I felt got too much spotlight.

Bottom line? The author tried to cram way too many storylines into the book and none of them got properly developed. Will never did look at his father's papers; Alona never figured out how she did what she did (won't say more or it will be too big a spoiler). Plus that particular part of the story was too much like what happened in the Mediator series by Meg Cabot. I kept flashing to the last book of that series and thinking how convenient it was for Alona and Will. In the end, very little is actually resolved (I had a bit of a problem with this as well) so it seems their tribulations aren't over and I'm still curious to see how they will deal with the new developments.

Overall, although I liked this book in general, I thought the story did need more development. I was also surprised at the more serious tone of the book. I can only imagine this series will keep getting less fluffy so if that's what you're looking for, maybe this book isn't as much for you as the first one.

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