3 stars on Goodreads, 2.5 in my mind.
I had this on my kindle for a few months before I read it. It’s by the same author who wrote the Chronos Files series, which I enjoyed but had some hang ups with. This book I didn’t like as much.
I really liked the first couple of chapters, and thought that I was getting a story about a girl who communicates with the dead and ends up solving a murder mystery with the grandfather of the victim. I was ready for this oddball buddy cop story. I did not get that story.
Instead, I got a weaker version of the X-Men.
Before I pick at the negatives, I need to say that the book is very well written, and I actually really liked Anna as the main character and narrator. She’s strong but also vulnerable, and is all around a very well-balanced character. She’s a great focal point.
The book started to go downhill for me when Aaron shows up. He’s very clearly the love interest from the start, but he’s blander than Trey was in Chronos Files, and he brings with him a total change in the story. He and his sister Taylor have psychic abilities like Anna, but with them comes several huge chunks of exposition in dialogue that I found myself growing bored with. Aaron and Taylor remove Anna’s driving action from the middle of the story, leaving her in the backseat as she waits for an opportunity to rescue her friend Deo from a shady villain and his organization.
I just… didn’t fall in love with this story.
On top of that, there seems to be an emerging pattern in Rysa Walker’s novels when it comes to teenaged female heroes. Both this novel and the Chronos Files threatened their female leads with rape. It didn’t actually happen to either of them (though it definitely happens to a minor character in this book), but it comes very close, and while the would-be rapists get their just desserts in the end, this really isn’t a great recurring element. They’re in there for shock value more than anything else, and to see an author throw both of her protagonists into that kind of situation is pretty awful. Obviously (and horribly), this kind of thing happens in the real world, but damn it, female fictional characters do not NEED to undergo rape in order to overcome adversity and be the heroes of their own stories. Nor is it solely a female issue. And I swear, if someone comes at me with the “but it gives it a sense of realism!” excuse, I would like to know exactly what about the teenage psychic shares her mind with ghosts and time traveling adventure romance novels would have been broken by NOT including it. This kind of content can definitely be done well, but here it just leaves me frustrated. Mostly because it feels so unnecessary.