|Series: stand alone||Rating: 3.5/5|
|Date of Publishing: April 13th 2019||Genre: fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, YA|
|Publisher: East Side Press||Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble|
|Number of pages: 218||Author’s website: https://linktr.ee/CarolineFlarity|
Quote of the Book
“Freddy steered Major Tom off Eden Street and traveled down the back road that connected to local Route 33, a two-lane highway packed with stoplights, gas stations, fast food and strip malls in a bland montage of Anytown, America.”
Supernatural meets Mean Girls in this dark, YA paranormal mystery for older teens.
Sixteen-year-old Anna sees things from another world, the spiritual world, a skill that isn’t exactly useful in high school. It’s bad enough that her mother, possessed by a demon, took her own life when Anna was a child, a loss she remains tortured by. Now her father makes his living “clearing” haunted objects, and Anna’s job as his assistant makes her a social misfit. Most kids in her suburban New Jersey town refer to her just as “Goblin Girl.”
Only Freddy and Dor remain loyal friends. But Anna’s so focused on her own problems, she’s missed that her connection with Freddy is moving beyond the friend zone and that Dor is in crisis.
As junior year approaches, a rare solar storm lights up the night skies and the citizens of Bloomtown begin to act strangely: Anna’s teachers lash out, her best friends withdraw, and the school bullies go from mean to murderous. When Anna realizes she can harness this evil power, she sets out to save Bloomtown and the only family she has left.
But to do so, she must keep her own increasingly dark urges at bay.
I’ve got an eARC trough Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.
Song of the Book
I’m sorry, but I really can’t go with anything else here.
YA is not a genre I normally read – mainly because I’m not the target audience anymore, but I like to make exceptions every once in a while when something catches my eyes. I’ve come across The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter on Netgalley and as I had a bit of free time on my hands, I requested it – of course I’ve got a load of books later on… but that’s my form. Anyway, I more or less knew what I was getting into with this one, but decided that some lighter read wouldn’t hurt after some epic fantasy tomes. All that said, while I enjoyed reading The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter, it didn’t make me crave to read more YA in the near future.
Our MC is 16 years old Anna, who lives with his father, the paranormal investigator Jack. Who, ever since losing his wife 8 years ago had become a hoarder. One of the things I really appreciated in The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter is that it dealt with topics like grief and mental illness – to a point. Anna has no idea how to handle the situation, but then that’s not something a 16 year old necessarily has to know anyway. Then again, fighting demons and evil spirits aren’t in the average 16 year old’s daily routine either.
I have ambivalent feelings toward Anna. On one hand, she has to act like an adult – no wonder, having a parent like Jack – and on the other, she acts like a typical annoying teenager. She has a crush on the most popular guy in school – of course. She also has two friends – surprise, surprise – Freddy and Dor. To make the usual trope complete, they have or don’t have crushes on each other, which of course creates tension between the characters. Personally I would have been OK not having this plotline as it didn’t really give anything to the story overall. It was cute – or annoying depending on your POV, but nothing more. Her friends being pissed at her for being distant and selfish was much more believable than the teen love drama. As Freddy and Dor had their own very real problems with life and their parents. More focus on that rather than the school perverts would have been benefitial for this story in my opinion.
Thankfully this is was only a sideplot, and not the main focus. Which is, to say, a demon wreaking havoc in the boring town of rural Bloomtown. Jack not being the most reliable figure, it’s up to Anna to deal with the chaos and figure out who is behind things. Her only real help is Geneva, her dad’s new assistant, inventor, hippie. She kind of reminded me of Phoebe from Friends by her description. With her tool and presence Anna finally can get to the bottom of things.
Now, not many people knows this about me, but I like to watch paranormal investigation shows on TV when I catch them. I can’t say I believe in ghosts, spirits, entities or whatever you want to call them, but I’m fascinated by these shows nonetheless. Just because I never had experiences like that, it doesn’t mean others’ aren’t valid. In all honesty, I think this was what really attracted me in The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter. I hoped for some cool investigation with spooky events and experiences. Sure, I knew there was teen drama to get with YA, but I hoped it won’t be too much.
I probably would have liked more to have a villain with a more interesting motivation/background. Take for example the box Anna uses to get revenge on the school bully – now, that was a nasty piece, and actually I found that spirit or whatever it was more interesting than the actual evil antagonist. Even if it the revelation of who it pretended to be was a nice twist. I expected someone else to be the culprit. And it had some tricks himself as it turned out in the final confrontation.
Okay, I went a bit overly critical here. In all fairness, The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter is a solid and entertaining read. Being the debut of Caroline Flarity, I think it has good potential. All in all, it mostly delivered what I expected: a fast paced, sometimes spooky read with a bit of teen drama. If you like ghost hunter stories, evil spirits wreaking havoc in a little town playing mindgames on people, with teen angst and love drama on the side, then I’m sure you will enjoy The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter.