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My Initial Reaction...
I really enjoyed this new series from Robin D. Owens. Ghost Seer provided a fresh new fantasy world and fun characters that I look forward to exploring in the future.
Coleen Marlo was a solid narrator. She delivered solid voices for each of the characters and the real treat, for me at least, was the voice she gave to Enzo. Enzo is a ghost dog who becomes Claire's guide and Coleen Marlo nailed his voice. I SAW a dog everytime he spoke because it was just so spot on. I'm definitely adding her to my list of approved narrators.
Ghost Seer is told from two perspectives - Claire Cermac and Zach Slade. I loved the parts from Claire's perspective, but Zach could be annoying. I wonder if I wouldn't have enjoyed Ghost Seer more if it had been told entirely from Claire's point of view.
Claire's aunt has just died, leaving her a massive inheritance. But it came with strings - Claire has the family gift, she can see ghosts and help them "move on." Up until this point, Claire was a successful accountant, but she felt it would be wrong to keep a good job someone else might really need - so she quit. That little detail spoke volumes about her character, which was reinforced for me as the story went on. Claire is a good, decent person who really thinks about the consequences of what she does for others. I loved the little details that Owens included about Claire paying percentages for tips and the way she organized and detailed things - it felt like the sort of details you'd expect an accountant to care about and it really made Claire real. And then there was the way she handled seeing ghosts - she went through a real struggle to accept what she was seeing, even hiring a top-of-the line psychiatrist to help her.
Zach is also going through a big life change - though I can't hardly see how it compares to what Claire is going through. When the book opens, he's a cop who's been shot and can no longer work in the field because of a drop ankle. He moves to Denver CO (which is where Claire already lives) and gets started at a PI firm. I do feel bad for him that he can't be a cop anymore - it's obvious that he loved what he did and it's where he feels best. But the man just wouldn't stop complaining about having to go private. Ex-cops and Ex-military make that move all the time - yet somehow he had a harder time dealing with what was happening to him than Claire did with her life changes. I guess further proof that women are tougher then men ;) But I did still like Zach - he's a good person, has good intentions, and I liked the way he dealt with his elderly client. Very respectful and caring. So I hope he just stops complaining, accepts the changes around him and then I'll love him too.
My absolute FAVORITE character was Enzo. I love animal companions in books - especially ones like Enzo that are a BIG part of the book. He talks to Claire, guides her and runs around acting like a dog. He has some other - somewhat malevolent seeming (to me) - spirit attached to him though and that totally creeped me out. Sometimes that voice would take over and give Claire instructions and I hope we'll get a better idea of what/who that spirit is in future books.
The world build in The Ghost Seer was great too. We're basically in our world and there are some people - like Claire and, to some extent, Zach - who have an extra sense for the "other worldly things." Zach has this rhyme he learned as a kid about crows and apparently if you see x number of crows it means something different than xy number of crows. It was really neat - though Zach tried really hard to not accept his ability, so that was frustrating, much like his whining about his situation.
The really really cool part, though, was Claire's gift. I might better call it a curse, though, because it comes with some serious baggage. There are so many rules about her ability - the biggest one being that if she doesn't accept her gift, she will go crazy and die. And Claire's struggle to deal with her gift starts taking a serious toll - she's always freezing, she can't eat, sleep -- she was literally dying slowly as the book progressed. Yikes! See what I mean about her having it worse than Zach? Another cool aspect was that she can see ghosts - but not all ghosts. She has the ability to see a specific time period - roughly 1850 - 1900 if I remember correctly. This worried me because her ghosts are kind of western and that's not really my thing. But it never went too far down that path and really just through in a bit of fun history to a very modern plot and world.
Ghost Seer is a really inventive twist on your standard clairvoyant story and, with characters that I love, I plan to read the next one when it comes out.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
I liked this book well enough but it seemed kind of silly to continue letting Clare get sicker and sicker rather than have her admit she could see ghosts. Stubborn is only good for so long then it becomes tedious. And Zach was almost as stubborn, but not quite. Since I found both Clare and Zach more than a little whiny I can’t see myself moving on to the next one. It’s also a little too long and repetitive and way to expensive, IMO. There was some good sexual tension and sex in this book but not enough to overcome the constant whining they both did, him about his leg and her about seeing ghosts, it continued throughout the book.
I liked Mrs. Flinton and Mrs. MaGee and Rickman and Jack Slade but mostly I loved Enzo.
As to the narrator: Ms. Marlo did a wonderful job. The men sounded like men instead all girly BUT what she really did a great job on was Enzo. OMG, what a spectacular voice she gave to Clare's ghost dog. Loved that dog, thanks to Ms. Marlo. I would definitely listen to her again.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Is there anything you would change about this book?
For long periods of time there just doesn't seem to be much at stake - will Claire come to terms with her gifts, will she manage to lay the key ghost, will she get together with the hot ex-cop? It's all competently done and I liked the fact that both she and the ex-cop were extremely skeptical about the supernatural (this is a sensible response!). In fact, they are both likable characters and they were pleasant to spend time with. But it wasn't the kind of book that I was itching to get back to. When it was finished I was glad I'd stuck with it, but I won't be looking out for the next in the series.