Saturday, May 24, 2008

Walk of the Spirits

Just finished Walk of the Spirits by Richie Tankersley Cusick. This is a pretty typical girl discovers-she-has-supernatural-powers novel. Nothing particularly new or eath-shattering but an enjoyable enough read none-the-less.

Teenage Miranda's whole life changes when a hurricane devastates her Florida home. She and her mother move to St. Yvette, Louisiana and Miranda finally meets the grandfather she had always been led to believe was deceased. Turns out Grandpa is the town crazy, and even while living in his guest house, Mum tries to keep the two from meeting. Miranda meets him anyway, after she and a group of kids from her high school start investigating spooky local history for a class project. It turns out Grandpa isn't crazy--he can speak to the dead and so can Miranda. Miranda goes through the typical denial-of-her-powers period but comes to accept that the crying and screaming she hears in the night are actually the spirits of the dead trying to contact her. A long dead Civil War soldier (Southern) is desperate for Miranda to sort out the great tragedy of his life. That tragedy includes betrayal and love and a beautiful (also dead) opera singer.

I would have liked more ghosts in this ghost story. Much time is spent establishing Miranda's friendship with the group of kids who immediately like her and add her to their little group. Miranda is prickly at first but comes to depend on this joking and fiercely loyal band. She also has two love interests--the gorgeous, mysterious Cajun boy, Etienne, and his cousin, an also gorgeous but more down-to-earth boy named Gage. (My favorite line from the back cover is "Etienne is willing, but is he really as trustworthy as he is sultry?" Ha!) I expected a little more from the potential love triangle but it didn't develop. The plot really gets going in the last third of the novel, and I found the raging storm scene toward the end of the book exciting. Inbetween though I wanted more eerie interactions with spirits and more romantic entanglement. I mean, what a perfect conflict that would have been--two cousins who are very close, both interested in the same girl, who is also interested in both of them. Perhaps this will be developed more in the sequel I suspect is coming. It feels like the author has set this book up with the idea of continuing the story.

This would be a good book for readers who like the supernatural as well as books about friends/lovers interacting. I found the group's friendship to be a strong part of the book. Like I said, there isn't much new ground broken here but I was satisfied when I finished.

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