Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Raising the Dead by Mara Purnhagen

I'm pretty sure this novella is only available as an ebook. I bought mine from the Sony Reader store, but I'll link to the B&N ebook site below so anyone who's interested can go look at the description even if they don't have a Nook.

Raising the Dead takes place between the first and second books in this series, a few weeks after the events of the first book. During a talk by Charlotte Silver's ghost-busting father (a talk where she's helping out by handing him props, much to her chagrin--it's Friday evening and she has nothing better to do), a massive storm moves in. On the trip home through the downpour, Charlotte sees a coffin floating down the flooded street.

The coffin, and many others, have washed out of an old cemetery outside town. Charlotte's parents volunteer to help identify the remains so they can be reburied. Charlotte is still unsettled by the haunting she went through over the summer, and the cemetery dates back to the same era of her ghost, so she joins her parents to help and maybe learn more about what happened to her. But the cemetery holds more mystery than history*, from a strange figure lurking around to some coffins that aren't quite what they seem.

Since this isn't a full-length novel, there's not as much going on in the plot as in the other books. Also, since it's an interstitial story that doesn't really fall in the arc of the regular series books, none of the important issues (like Charlotte's incipient romance with her friend Noah) are really addressed. It is a mostly fun little story, though, set in the week before Halloween.

I get the impression that this might have been initially released as a serial story online, judging from the repetition of events and information at the beginning of chapters. There are also some weird discrepancies that argue a minimum of editing--for instance, one character mentions his grandchildren early in the story, but later on it's a plot point that he has no family.

The plot starts out slow but picks up quickly, and becomes really exciting halfway through where some of the mysteries start to come to light. But the ending is terrible. I do like that the mysteries are more natural than supernatural, and Charlotte still shows some spunk in this story. But the ending is so lame it overshadows everything that was good about the book.

*did you see what I did there?

B&N nookbook link (ebook)


Michael McClung said...

I saw what you did there, and if you keep it up you're liable to go blind. :) Seriously, though, good review. Thanks!

K.C. Shaw said...

lol, thanks!