Haunted

hauntedI’ve enjoyed reading fantasy fiction since I was a pre-teen, but I’d never before delved into paranormal romance fiction. A review of Ophelia’s Julien’s Haunted made it sound interesting, though, and having recently read my first romance fiction, I figured I might as well take the plunge, and I downloaded Haunted. Which turned out to be a very enjoyable read. Judging from the age of the characters, I guess this to be a YA paranormal romance, but the characterization and plot are nuanced and well-developed; older readers should find a lot to like here, too.

Cassie Valentine can sometimes see the restless dead, even commune with them on occasion, and oh, her house seems to be haunted. Her first love, Daniel, died a year past, and her grief and her love for him remain undiminished. Then she encounters Michael, whom she knew years earlier and who also has lost loved ones and sometimes sees ghosts.

I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll just say that I think there’s a lot to admire about Julien’s storytelling. I mentioned her character and plot development, and I’ll repeat that I think they’re very good. I also appreciate her prose’s lack of excess verbiage. The book’s sharp evocation of a small town setting and its residents pleased me, too, and brought Bradbury to mind with its clear-eyed sympathy. The well-drawn relationships between Cassie and her friends were another pleasure and reminded me of Charles De Lint’s work in that regard. Finally, the story’s pacing was good, not too fast, not too slow.

If you enjoy reading fantasy and mystery, mixed with fictional family dynamics and, yes, love, I think you’ll have a good time with Haunted.

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About kentmcdanielwrites

Writer and musician.

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