September 19, 2009

Rabid Reads "Ghost Huntress: The Awakening" by Marley Gibson

Title: Ghost Huntress: The Awakening (Book One)
Author: Marley Gibson
Publisher: Graphia; imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing (2009)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 338
ISBN 978-0-547-15093-2

I can't say I liked this book. I also can't say I finished it. There is the very real possibility of a good story lurking inside this book's pages, but I'll never know because the first sixty pages failed to hook me at all.

The premise for the story sounds fantastic, which is why I made it a point to read it this summer. A young girl (Kendell Moorehead) moves from Chicago to the outskirts of Atlanta, provoking all the neccessary angst and anxiety of being uprooted during adolescence from the place she's grown up. Throw in a blossoming paranormal sensitivity to throw Kendell off balance even more, ultimately compelling her to seek out the spirits she has come in contact with, and you've got the makings of a good read.

Unfortunately for me, Kendell's voice irritated me. A lot. And, even though her voice sounded genuine enough at times to create a three-dimensional character, the teen-speak hit a saturation point with me in record time. While nowhere near as insufferable as the teens of "Dawnson's Creek" or "Gossip Girl," Kendell and those around her grated on me and made me question just how tiresome my friends and I sounded as teens.

The spooks and chills, in what little I read of the book, showed potential and good build-up. But, through the eyes of Kendell, I grew weary of her inner monologue, which sounded less like a scared teen than a supporting character in the Scooby Doo gang. That's just my cynical side showing, so take the criticism with a healthy dose of salt.

I'm nowhere near the target demographic for this title anyway, so it's not really for me to say whether people should rush out to read this book or not. Heck, with only eighty-or-so pages read, I would be a tad arrogant to give that kind of verdict. If the premise for the novel, which is the first in a trilogy, perks your curiosity as it did mine, then you should probably give it a read. Chances are you're going to give it a fairer shake than I did. I may even give it a second read sometime down the line, but right now. I guess it comes down to being in the mood to read this book.

Other reviews--by people who read the book in its entirety--can be found at the following book blogs: The Book Butterfly; Carrie's YA Bookshelf; Read This Book!


  1. You really have no business writing such a scathing review for a book you 1) aren't the target demographic for; 2) you didn't finish. You're doing a disservice to the author and the genre by having to blog just for the sake of blogging.

    I read the book, as did my 13 year old daughter and she loved it. Different strokes for different folks, but then again, my daughter IS the target.

    I would hope that teens won't be shooed away by your negativity.

    Just MY two cents.

    Sylvia Wander

  2. If a Debi Sands requests to follow you on twitter....that's me!!

  3. WOW. I am so sorry about the comments that 'Anonymous' felt they had to make there.

    I thought your review was very honest and helpful. I see you as this person who likes horror and dark fantasy, and you give those things good ratings. It's a given that most of the things you read in those genres will appeal to other fans of THOSE genres. And no, that book wasn't targeted for you, but you gave it a fair try. Didn't like it much or finish it, but again, you gave it a balanced review, nothing super negative.

    AND I know for a fact that you don't just 'blog for the sake of blogging.' I mean, HECK, you talk about your writing all the time!

    Sorry. I just read that and immediately wanted to leap to your defense. Keep up the good work. One person DID appreciate your review.

  4. Sylvia - A disservice? Really? I hardly think my relatively obscure blog is going to curb the number of people who read her book, and if so they will merely be like-minded sots who are on the fence about whether to read a YA fantasy mystery. If you and your daughter read and enjoyed the book, you certainly don't need my opinion it, nor does the author. I simply comment on the books I read--or try to read--with an honest and tempered approach.

    Akasha - I got you added on Twitter. Only a few days and I'm already getting hit up by porn tweets. Did this happen to you?

    Celia - Don't sweat Sylvia. I was bound to get "hate mail," so I'm glad to get the first out of the way. I can appreciate the sentiment of defending a book you love, but maintaining composure is key. Frankly, compared to other stuff I've seen posted on blogs, she was downright polite.

  5. Just re-read my comment...definitely answered that in the heat of the moment. Well, I know what to do now when I post my own negative review (and get a scathing comment)...wait 3 days and then answer. :-) I think you handled it well. Best!