I was given a copy of this ebook by the author, Paul McAvoy with the purpose of objectively reviewing this for him. I am not affiliated in any way to the author, but just wanted to clarify the source of the book before writing my review.
The book is a young adult novel categorised as a horror story about ghosts. I liked the premise of this book, featuring a teenage boy who meets a ghost in a graveyard and tries to help her.
Callum Parker is a teenager who has parents who are divorced. On weekends when he visits his dad, he likes to visit the local graveyard where he sketches the old gravestones. One cold winters evening as it is just getting dark, he sees two female ghosts being pursued by someone through the graveyard.
This intrigues Cal, and he keeps going back again until he meets Beth properly, and he is keen to help her best he can as she is being pursued by a ghost catcher called Noddy Blair. Cal feels out of his depth but he does his best to protect Beth and help her achieve what she needs to do before crossing over into the light.
From the start, this books strength is the descriptions used to describe the characters and setting. They are really strong, so you get a good sense of the morals of the character and understand why they react the way they do when situations arise in the novel.
At times I felt a little confused about some facts like the age of Cal and his sister Rosy, but otherwise I had a sense of the life they lead and their personality.
I felt that the situation Cal was in was quite unusual, and yet along the way there were familiar situations arising as well. At no point did I feel the plot was predictable, and I couldn't really predict where it was going to go.
I felt Beth was a bit of a confusing character. From the initial description of her, I expected her to be a
more old fashioned character from the way she was dressed, but then when she started talking to Cal, she was talking almost as if she were a modern ghost. I actually worked out about mid way through that she had died aged about 14, and had been dead around 24 years, so I didn't feel her speech was always as I would expect it to be, and some things being described in the book didn't really help with clarity on aging this character.
I thought that the chapters were all quite short, and this worked well for me being able to follow the plot. About half way through the author used a technique of moving Beths character about in time so we could see more about how she had ended up where she was. This was done sometimes with two time settings in one chapter which could be hard to follow, and might have been clearer dedicating one chapter per time zone, but I liked being able to see Beth's journey in this way at this point. It also allowed further development of the character of Blair.
My overall impression of this story is it is well written, characterised and plotted. It would benefit a little from another proof read as I spotted quite a few small grammatical or typing errors going through, and this sort of thing always stands out to me when reading a novel. It is only a small thing and easily overlooked when self editing I am sure, and it seems more prominent in kindle editions rather than paper copies of books. Its certainly not the only book to have this in it.
The story is engaging, and progresses nicely to a fitting conclusion which was not exactly where I expected it to go. The descriptions are really beautiful, and it doesn't fall too much into cliches along the way.
This was an interesting read, and at a cost of £1.54 on kindle, I think it is well worth this price. There is a lot of low cost material on amazon and it is hard to pick out good writing sometimes, but if the genre of young adult ghost stories appeals to you, then I think this is worth checking out.