My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ellie Jordan works for Eckheart Investigations, this is not your run of the mill investigation business, Ellie Jordan is a ghost trapper. Working with her apprentice Stacey Ray Tolbert, Ellie is sent out to interview a prospective client in Savannah, Georgia. You see, not everyone who calls for a ghost hunter is truly experiencing a ghost. Ellie is not like a lot of the run of the mill “ghost hunter extraordinaires”, she understands that most of the time, the “haunting” being experienced isn’t actually a haunting at all. Once she meets the Treadwell family, she can quickly surmise that this IS an actual haunting, once her and Stacey set up their equipment for the preliminary investigation, they get proof that they are in fact dealing with a real restless spirit who is harassing this family. After setting to work learning everything they can about the ghost doing the scaring, their next aim is to trap and then remove the pesky spirit, bing, bang, boom, job’s done. Or so they thought. What if this spirit wasn’t the one they had to worry about? Were there more spirits in the house than they first realised? Will they get out of this alive? Read the book and find out!
I am an absolute SUCKER for a ghost story. Ever since I was younger, I’ve loved haunted houses, asylums, cemeteries, truck stops, basically I love a good ghost story. I’d have to say that they’re up there as one of my favourites. Something about the creepy vibes a good author can instil into me just brings me joy, weird I know, but hey *shrugs* welcome to me! Bryan definitely can be put into the category of a good author with killer skills at writing a good ghost story.
When I was about 40 odd percent through the book, I was like “okay, this is a good ghost story, I’m enjoying it, but nothing is really standing out for me so far…and what is the remainder of the book actually going to be about???” we were hitting the point in the story where it all sounded like it was being wrapped up in a nice little ghost trap so I couldn’t help but wonder, what the hell was the next sixty percent of the book going to be about. I was NOT expecting a full foray into mystery territory here, but I was pleasantly surprised as the story kept unfolding and more and more things were brought to light. I originally thought that it was just going to be a run of the mill ghost story where the good guys prevail and that was that. I was SO wrong, and I am SO glad that I was!!
Yes the first half of the book is all about finding out about the ghost scaring little Lexa and her mum Anna and trying to oust her from her haunting habitat, but there came a mystery that I didn’t even KNOW needed to be solved. The way that Bryan did this was so flawless, I was sitting there minding my own business, when BAM! mystery, right in the face. Hell yes, colour me in love. So now we have a killer ghost story AND a mystery to boot! What a combination. I didn’t even know I needed the mystery in this story until it popped up. The way that it was executed was fantastic, I had no idea what I was seeing until it was happening. I had worked out a couple of things before their final reveal but it doesn’t take away from the story too much. I was a little annoyed that the characters hadn’t figured out something about their first ghost a little sooner than they did, but hey, they were running off hardly any sleep and a particularly nasty haunted as well, so I can forgive them.
The characters were great. I love Ellie, she is so down to Earth and just all about the job, she doesn’t like flights of fancy or people who have their heads in the clouds, she likes cold, hard facts. I LOVE this in a paranormal/supernatural book about ghosts and hauntings, I think it was a fantastic addition to her personality. This is also cemented when her mentor bombards her with words of bringing a psychic into the mix, she is straight up against it and even avoids him for a portion of the book just so she can avoid having the conversation again. Thankfully she relents, as the psychic was a nice addition and I sincerely hope he’s a recurring character. I really enjoyed Stacey’s character as she was painted as an Alabama beauty queen type with the rich parents and a trust fund, but she’s so into the whole ghost thing, yes she baulks a bit when she encounters some truly nasty spirits, but come on, tell me you wouldn’t. I think she was a fun character and added a little lightheartedness to the book which was a great element, and I’m super glad she decided to stay as it was a little touch and go there for a bit.
I loved the backstory of Ellie, we got a glimpse into what spurred her into becoming a ghost trapper in the first place and I think that was a much needed addition to the story, this is a storyline that I truly believe will carry on throughout the series and I sincerely hope that we get to see something come of this. I’d love for Ellie to face her demons and be able to conquer them once and for all, as it’s clearly still an emotional point for her, understandably.
I love that Bryan used the tools and tricks of the trade, if you’ve ever watched a ghost hunter show before in your life, you’ll have an idea of what Ellie is using. I think this gave the story a good level of reality which can sometimes be lacking in these types of stories. I also enjoyed that Ellie was just your run of the mill chick, out to catch some ghosts, she has no special powers or anything (at this point anyway) and I feel that really helped me connect to her. She does her research the old fashioned way and it’s great.
The haunting itself definitely had it’s creepy elements and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the series holds in store. I’m honestly probably going to go and buy the next book in the series once I hit post.
If you enjoy a good ghost hunter story, do not go past this series, it’s super enjoyable.