What worked: This is one quirky paranormal story set in a small Indiana town. It kind of reminded me of the 90s paranormal TV show Eerie, Indiana meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Addamsville is like Eerie with it's quirkiness and ghosts.
Zora is someone who seems to not care what others think of her, though readers find out that this isn't necessarily true. She misses her mother something fierce and wants to know what really happened the day she disappeared. Zora's mother also shared a paranormal ability with Zora-she could see the dead and fought against the Fire starters. I also get why Zora might appear to be hard and tough. The town hasn't exactly been kind to her or her family.
There's a Supernatural feel throughout this novel too, especially when Zora teams up with her nerdy cousin Artemis to find out who really killed the school janitor and clear her name. I'd love to see this duo in any sequels. There's a huge hint of one at the end!
I did get confused on what was going on at times. Like why did Bach, an ageless guy, really want to help Zora? There's hints at a bigger picture going on in this town that involves supernatural beings that might destroy not only the living but ghosts too.
The town and the historical old homes are characters too as they give a surreal atmosphere. The subtle at times creepiness is more psychological horror than graphic.
Trippy, paranormal tale set in a Midwest small town with a cast of quirky characters.
Buffy The Vampire meets Stranger Things