Author: Paige McKenzie, Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Publisher: Weinstein Books
Publication Date: 1. March 2016
Rating: 3./5. Stars
TW: descriptions of gruesome murders
Summary: Sunshine Griffith can communicate with ghosts. Even more amazing, she recently discovered—with the help of her would-be boyfriend, Nolan—that she’s a luiseach, one of an ancient race of creatures who have lived among humans for centuries, protecting them from dark spirits and helping them move on to the afterlife. Now, Sunshine’s powers are awakening and she feels spirits everywhere—intense and sometimes overwhelming.
Eager to get her supernatural abilities under control, Sunshine agrees to begin training with her mentor, her estranged father Aidan. He takes her to an abandoned compound deep in the Mexican jungle. But what she learns there about her powers, and her family history, turns out to be more terrifying than Sunshine could have imagined. Can anything—Aidan’s experiments, her friendship with another luiseach named Lucio, even Nolan’s research—prepare Sunshine to face the frightening woman who haunts her dreams, and to finally learn the truth about the rift that threatens the future of the luiseach and all of humankind?
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
When I requested this book I hadn’t seen that it was the second one in a series, but thankfully this was no problem. Story elements from the first book where continuously hinted at and just enough for me to understand what had been going on in the story before, which was nice.
I was really excited for the mythology of this story, but I also have the feeling that not very much about it has been discovered yet. It was definitely nice to read about it and I think it was quite well thought out.
However, I can’t like the main character. At first, I did like her and understood her. After all which sixteen-year-old would like to suddenly find out that she can see ghosts and also be separated from her mother and also her powers are way different from other Luiseachs’ powers. So, I understood the angst that was going on in this novel. But I really, really hated how she was constantly harping on about how different she was. She never had kissed a guy, unlike all the other 16-year-olds in this world who all wanted to kiss guys and also all have kissed guys. That makes her so special. Oh, and unlike these fashion-obsessed freaks, she buys her stuff second-hand. That also makes her special. That also makes her weird. (I’m not kidding, this is literally said in the text.) Of all the things that would set her apart from her peers, this are the parts she wants to talk about? Not being kissed and buying second-hand clothes? Jeez, well then I can’t wait for my special quest to finally begin, after all, I’m also one of these good pure unkissed girls, who just doesn’t have enough money to buy new clothes and instead, often buys ~vintage~ second-hand clothes. And she just kept going on about how she had always known she was different (and of course better!). Because of taste in clothes. I mean seriously?
And even the writing wasn’t what I had expected. This story felt very dragged out at times and I had just expected something a bit… more? More action, more background stories, more information? The writing itself wasn’t bad (I did read the translated german version of the story ), but it also didn’t pull me in as I had hoped.
One thing I did love about this story was how the love triangle was avoided. They are way too common and seeing them be shut down it always good.
Also, some of the parts didn’t really make sense to me? We were told that Sunshines mother really loved and cared for her, but then she sends her away with a stranger without being worried? And then her daughter doesn’t call her for ages and we’re supposed to believe she wasn’t worried? I get that she didn’t want her daughter to die from Ghosts, but I would have liked to see her a bit more caring at this part of the story, Sunshine is just sixteen after all and no mother would be happy to know they are far away from them and probably in danger.
All in all, I probably would have liked this story way better without the weird “I’m better than other girls” complex that is sadly way too common in books. Being different is not a problem, but seeing a white cishet neurotypical girl harp on about how ~different~ she was from her classmates for not buying brand clothing, is just… not for me. There are many reasons why characters might feel different from their peers, but in this case, it just annoyed me, since it was very ~holier than thou~. It was a nice story line and if I ever have the time I might check out the first book just to see if that one has more horror, but this book definitely didn’t blow me away.