Mar 3, 2010

Review--Ghouls Gone Wild

M.J. Holliday has an unusual ability: she can talk to the dead. But when she finds herself investigating an ancient curse, even her gift might not get her out of a witchy situation.


When M.J. and her friends travel to Scotland to film the first intallment of their new cable TV show, Ghoul Getters, they find plenty of spooky action in a series of supposedly haunted caverns. But then they discover the body of a maintenance worker, and the cause of his death is reminiscent of an old legend.

Centuries ago, a mob of angry townsfolk chased a witch, her lover, and her five sisters into the caverns and killed them one by one. Since then, it is said that every hundred years, seven of the town's residents will perish under mysterious circumstances--victims of the witch's vengeance.

Now M.J., Gilley, and Heath have to figure out whether the curse is just superstition or it something more sinister is at work--before anyone else falls victim to the witch's wrath.

I was able to read Victoria Laurie's Ghouls Gone Wild in 1 day! Probably the last time I'll be able to do that because come the next release I will no longer be a student. I am enjoying my "spring break" is wonderful winter weather, by keeping myself in the house reading all day. It's still a treat. Of course come the weekend I will probably have to trade a GREAT read for my textbook and notes to study for a midterm that I have awaiting my return to school next week.

On to the review: LOVED it! Of course I generally love all the books I read, I can't seem to find one that I don't love, I might like it and not love it, but yeah whatever. Review time. Victoria Laurie writes great mysteries I think. And with the added paranormal twist, they become thoroughly enjoyable!

Ghouls Gone Wild had M.J. and her friends in Scotland working on their new show and boy do they have their hands full with this mystery! There's a curse on the town as the BOC said, but something has happened and the curse that takes place every 100 years, is happening 35 years early. It doesn't take long for M.J. and her friends to be involved in trying to solve the case. They couldn't leave even if they wanted too, and believe me Gilley had tried to do just that! Gotta love that guy!

But this haunting gets personal for M.J. when one of her friends is involved by default. I don't want to go too far into it because it's sort of a spoiler, but it gets revealed fairly early. Once again we have a nice dark, stormy night scene in the book that adds to the creepiness! Luckily when I was reading this I had people in the house, so the creaks didn't startle me like they did the last time I read one of these books home alone!

The mystery elements were good, I had made a few guesses as to who the killer was and was sort of right, the murder became very complicated. And yes, the ghosts are real for any newbies to the series--which I highly recommend if you LOVE ghost stories!

I really enjoyed some of the other characters who weren't really important, but they were from Scotland and Laurie wrote them having Scottish accents. It really helped set the scene well and establish where these characters are. It was fun.

It's hard to talk about what goes on without revealing the character in danger info, but there is a lot of danger for this character--life threatening. Then said character even gets in trouble with the law in Scotland and that makes things all the more complicated for M.J. and crew. This is when they cannot leave Scotland at all, because passports were taken away until the matters were solved--another murder. There were 3 murders in the story, this was the 2nd one that brought up problems--I think...can't really recall the order now, been a long day of reading!

I was sad to see that Steven was mostly absent throughout the book, he made an appearance by phone call once and showed up towards the end, but therein lies the problem With Steven absent it became obvious that he and M.J. were starting to have relationship problems, M.J. even acknowledges this. She works nights, he works days...

I was sort of expecting this when I noticed his name was absent from the BOC, but I don't know how many people would've caught that. There is definitely some romantic tension in this novel, more so than what we saw with M.J. and Steven in the beginning I think. To top it all off the book ends with a cliffhanger--any time I see one of these I feel like screaming! The tiniest detail can leave you hanging off the biggest cliff ever and you have 1 year to wait to be pulled back up...only to go back to the cliff at the end. Granted there is an excerpt for the next novel, Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls! but it did little to satisfy me after the cliffhanger. Damn those cliffhangers!

I am always surprised by how fast a read the Ghost Hunter mysteries are, I get so engrossed with the story and by how easily the language style reads that I'm done before I know it! I mean to praise the book by this comment, while they're a quick read, it's because I don't want to put the book down for anything. Okay, I did stop for lunch around noon, but hey I need the energy to read!

Overall the characters are very refreshing and lovable. The settings are real, you can actually picture the scenes in your mind's eye with ease. The plot is engaging and well-paced, moving from clue to clue and having fun in between--fun being fun and scary "fun". Seriously, the ghosts this time were wicked scary! I love it that when I read these books I can feel a bit of fear--it's like watching a horror movie for kicks, except with books it's different because you visualize with what you're given. And my vivid imagination tends to scare the crap out of me when given the right incentive! But this is more of a suspenseful scared, not scared senseless like I was when I saw a Freddy Kruger movie when I was 8. Never again.

While the wait for Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls may be awhile--January 2011, according to Victoria Laurie's website--better than March, I guess, the wait for the next Abby Cooper Psychic Eye mystery is shorter than the usual September wait. This year Abby's next book, A Glimpse of Evil comes out July 6, 2010!

Until next time readers!

Check below for the winner of the signed copy of Shift!

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