Saturday, November 5, 2011

Book Review: Dark Souls, by Paula Morris

Dark Souls was an entertaining ghost story with cute characters and a thrilling ending.

Miranda and her brother Rob have been in a tragic auto accident where Miranda's best and only friend, Jenna, was killed. Both of them are having difficulty getting over this event. Rob, because he was trapped in the car, is now extremely claustrophobic, and Miranda sees ghosts. Jenna was the first ghost that Miranda saw -- as she walked away from the accident. Now Miranda sees ghosts everywhere.

The family needs a vacation, and Miranda's dad decides to take them to York, England, where he will present a paper on Richard III. Her mother is going to conduct an orchestra that will present a concert in the Minster, a 1000 year old building.

So, Rob and Miranda are on their own for much of the week they spend in England. Fortunately, Rob meets Sally and falls head over heals for her. Miranda sees ghosts, of course, and meets Nick, a boy who can also see ghosts.

But there's more to Nick's story, as well as Sally's which all comes together in a climactic ending including a ghost with a grudge that had me turning the pages at a rapid pace. This book was easy to read, so the pages really flew by for the entire book. The pacing is excellent -- there's never a dull moment. Morris wrote enjoyable main characters and the minor characters were well done too. The story is a perfect mix of the macabre and a thoughtful "troubled teens" story. The supernatural ghost sightings were believable and chilling.

The only problem I had was with the setting. I had a difficult time envisioning York, having never been there. Something about walls, and these walls close every evening. I don't understand. Do people walk on top of the walls, and that's the part that gets closed? I don't think they actually lock people in the city, do they? I couldn't picture these "snickelways" which apparently are like narrow alleys. I could feel the open air markets and the crowded streets that don't allow cars, but I didn't understand some of the details. This didn't really deter from my enjoyment of the story; I'm just curious.

I can recommend this quick, thrilling read to many teens. I believe the book has some appeal to boys, but this is mostly a girl book. Teens who like an adventure mixed with a supernatural mystery will enjoy this tale. This isn't a book that will stick with me forever, but I enjoyed the time I spent with these characters.

Published by Point
Copy won from Heidi @ YA Bibliophile
292 pages

Rating: 3/5

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  1. York is an enclosed town, but I don't think they shut the gates at a certain time anymore. You can walk on top of the enclosing walls all the way round the city.

  2. Do your kids react negatively to books set in other countries? And do you think your readers are starting to get tired of supernatural books?
    This book sounds good but I'm not sure I could generate readership for it.

    Anne@My Head is Full of Books

  3. i really want to read this, i loved her previous book.


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