Thursday, October 13, 2011

Book Review: Dark Souls by Paula Morris

By Paula Morris
Publisher: Point
Publish Date: August 1, 2011
Format: Hardback, pp 304
Age Demographic: Young Adult
b&n // amazon

"But how could she, without revealing that she knew Nick?" (pp ;; 157)

Welcome to York, England.

Mist lingers in the streets.

Narrow buildings cast long shadows.

This is the most haunted city in the world. . . .

Miranda Tennant arrives in York with a terrible, tragic secret. She is eager to lose herself amid the quaint cobblestones, hoping she won’t run into the countless ghosts who supposedly roam the city. . . .

Then she meets Nick, an intense, dark-eyed boy who knows all of York’s hidden places and histories. Miranda wonders if Nick is falling for her, but she is distracted by another boy — one even more handsome and mysterious than Nick. He lives in the house across from Miranda and seems desperate to send her some sort of message. Could this boy be one of York’s haunted souls?

Soon, Miranda realizes that something dangerous — and deadly — is being planned. And she may have to face the darkest part of herself in order to unravel the mystery — and find redemption.

*Summary taken from Goodreads.

❝My Thoughts❞

Dark Souls is a fantastically well written and intriguing ghost story set in York, England. Right away, it introduces you to a tragedy that has spun the Tennant's world on it's axis, very nearly breaking them. Then it wisks the reader away on such a lively, well developed, and paranormal adventure with a ghost that leads them down cobblestone alleyways, around dark corners, and into the virtual un-known. Morris's eye for detail and imagery, bring the story to life in such a way that the reader almost feels as if they're stepping out onto the streets and slipping between the pages of the novel. She posseses the ability to tell a story well enough, that the reader will find themselves unable to put the book down, until the last page has been turned.

The character's are reltable, the pain and heartache the tragedy of the car accident that occurrs, delivers such an emotional blow that it will have the reader ensconsed in nothing but aching sympathy for this family. This is a book that will move the reader to tears, as much as it will deliver a well written and thoughout suspenseful fright. One of the things, that so easily makes this book stand out, is the fact that it's not just your typical run of the mill ghost story. There is so much more to it, than just that.

It is real. It is powerful and it is heartbreaking. There is a longing for healing, in this family that is so palpable that the reader can understand, the reason for the family's decision in taking this trip to York, London. It's a way for them to bond as a family, by spending time and learning how to cope with the tragedy they've just suffered. Behind the veil, though, there is also mystery that intrigues and gets the senses tingling and the minds wondering. It prods at the reader beckoning them to come along with, Miranda and Nick as they attempt to find out who the ghosts are, what their history is, and how they came to their deaths.

The ghosts were especially interesting as character's, in my opinion, because they still possessed the scars and wounds that were inflicted on them at their time of death. That's a bit of a unique quality for a ghost to possess in a young adult paranormal ghost story. I haven't seen that element utilized quite as much and it made for an interesting twist in things to come. The depth and the wealth of history of York, London that Morris provides the reader with wonderful background scenery, in regards to incorporating it into the story and works seemingly flawless as it gives the novel so much more character and depth, of its own.

I personally, found the prose to be one of the most beautiful elements of this well developed and creatively told, ghost story. Morris's eye for detail and imagery, all but puts the reader in the story along with the main protagonists. The reader could easily close their eyes and wake up, in a darkened cobblestoned alleyway, encountering a ghost and being regaled with a tale of how their death came to be. It is very delightful, as well as suspenseful and full of mystery and intrigue. The only drawback, that I could see would lend itself to the pacing of the story, the first half of it was a bit on the slow side. However, as it progresses it starts to pick up and let's the reader in on more secrets and interesting things.

I would have no problem recommending Dark Souls to anyone who enjoys a good mystery with an interesting side of paranormal.


{ This ARC was provided by ATW ARC Tours, in exchange for an honest review which I have provided. No money exchanged hands, I review books for fun because I love to read. I am not interested in monetary gain. Any piece of this ARC that was/wasn't quoted, is not part of the finished product and should not be perceived as such.}

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