First Lines: For as long as I could remember, I’d heard whispers in the shadows. Dark, twisting shapes that chilled my blood. Slithering through night, the images flickered green skin, crimson eyes, sharp claws illuminated even in the dark. Sunlight meant the difference between life and death.
I was lucky/blessed/charmed enough to get this as a free ebook from the author herself. I must say, it was a really nice surprise to be offered a book that had been on my Goodreads to-read list for nearly a year.
Whispering Pines, California, is a dangerous place and Shiloh Ravenwolf knows this. She should; she grew up there. And as a descendent of a shaman on one side, possible witch blood on the other, and her own ability to see ghosts in the shadows, Shiloh’s pretty good at knowing what’s weird and dangerous. Everyone in town knows that the old Ravenhurst manor is haunted and some even say cursed. Throughout the years, children have been disappearing under odd circumstances, leading some to blame the mysterious presence in the manor. It was left empty for years, until now. The gorgeous Trent Donovan and his father have moved back into the manor after all these years. Is their presence stirring up the curse like the townspeople think? Why do the shadows seem to be after Shiloh? What dangerous secrets are being hidden…secrets that may cost lives?
I liked this story, quite a bit actually. It took me a short while to sink into Shiloh’s world, where every shadow can hold something deadly, but once I was there I was happy. The story is quite dark, much darker than I expected it to be. Oh don’t get me wrong, that’s exactly what I wanted it to be. This pushed some limits I’m not sure I’ve seen many other books do, especially this early in a series. It surprised me. I wasn’t expecting it to take that many risks. I think that worked to its advantage.
It was more than just a ghost story. It’s got a little bit of everything paranormal thrown in, or at least the very beginnings of it. I can tell there’ll be more to come…mostly because I looked at the summary for the next book… What? That’s not cheating or anything.
The characters were great as well. While I didn’t always feel that Shiloh’s reactions or actions were quite accurate with either her age or our present time (I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone wear belly shirts in quite some time), I did find that I liked her and her friends. The characters were diverse and interesting, from Evans to Trent to Jillian. They all vary in their motivations, interests, and attitudes. That was nice.
I mentioned Trent already, right? Yup. Total hottie. Kind of that bad, tough guy exterior with a good heart underneath it all. I really liked the scenes where he and Shiloh were together, even though it definitely leaned more toward a “lust” story than a “love” story for most of the novel. Maybe once or twice it went into that weird “Uh, is he trying to kiss her or eat her face?” But mostly I was more than happy to just be reading about Trent.
Overall, I really liked it. It’s a complex tale that takes risks that I don’t normally see in YA books. It’s not afraid to make Shiloh a strong female heroine. Very interested to see where the next book takes us.
Oh, and P.S., stop back on Monday, June 18th to see a guest post/interview with Shiloh! I’m one of the stops on the Sherry Soule’s Moonlight Mayhem book tour! You don’t want to miss it!