The characters—her friends—have all been effected by Emma’s loss as it’s their loss as well, but it’s all wrapped up in a kind of secret. No one talks about him or tries to reminisce, and that makes it hard in a way to connect and feel that loss as keenly as they do. Yet, at the same time, because they feel so deeply, it incites wonder that such a person, one so elusive to us, influenced so many lives. As we are introduced to this loss, and what that means for Emma, there is a mystery wrapped up in recent events in Emma’s life. After a chance meeting at the graveyard during the night, Emma—or more accurately, Petal, her Rottweiler—stumbles across Eric, the enigmatic new student at her school. This meeting unravels the bad so that it quickly twists her life into something dire. Head injuries, spacing out, vomiting after hardcore headaches hit, voices—all things that Emma can’t explain but is clever enough to understand that all of it leads back to Eric.
The plot has a tendency to roll into the confusing at times, and it has to do with the way it’s written and the lack of information. This story, even as answers start formulating, is shrouded in a mystery so thick that, by the end, it feels as if we lacked the ability to see through the thin block and be taught properly. It’s an introduction, though not necessarily irritating in that quality. But it certainly leaves room for so much more to happen, and it’s nearly impossible to guess where this story line is headed because it’s likely that we’ll be wrong. The necromancer mythology is a puzzle in itself and we attain pieces but it’s like trying to make a whole picture with just a handful. It’s as if we’re reading through a paragraph and once we’re finished, we sit back and ask ourselves if we understand when the answers are as elusive as they are obvious.
I may not know where this story is going, however I do know that the characters are, besides the paranormal aspect, the very best part of the story. It’s their deep bond, the connection, and the genuine caring between them. There are no Big Secrets to withhold, there’s support, and there’s a steadiness to their friendships, as if their bond will live as long as they do.
Sagara manages to steer away from a true cliffhanger, though she wraps up her story with a fist of anticipation rearing back and ready to strike as soon as the last word is read. Something surprising consumes our focus, although it’s not enough to be left shocked and angry. It’s a good surprise because it gives us a chance to really imagine what the sequel will be like and that’s what lights the excitement, the speculating. This series is definitely going to be quite a ride!
Recommended for fans of Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers series and Lee Nichols's Deception!
Originally posted at Paranormal Indulgence, 4/20/12