Sunday, 17 August 2014

Review: Ghosts in the Mirror

Ghosts in the Mirror by Joyce Mangola
Title: Ghosts in the Mirror
Series: none
Author: Joyce Mangola
Published: Lycaon Press; 2013
213 pages, kindle edition
Rating: 2 stars
 Description (from Goodreads):

Sixteen-year-old Jeremy Riggs has lived his life in and out of the hospital. While the doctors are clueless as to why he lapses into comas, he is well aware of his unique ability to merge with a wandering spirit. With his own soul too weak to sustain life, it's the only thing keeping him alive.

Waking up from a coma a year after being found at the county dump—next to the remains of the last spirit to inhabit him—Jeremy finds the newest spirit is nothing like the previous ones. It's bent on revenge and has the will to take control over his body. With the police lining him up as a murder suspect and an ancient evil pursuing him, Jeremy must help the ghost hitching a ride in his body find eternal rest without seeing his own soul snuffed out.

My Thoughts:

 I have always been a fan of ghost stories - even as a kid I watched Ghostbusters on a loop every weekend, picked out the "spookiest" Nancy Drew books or whatever else I could get my hands on and grew to become full-on obsessed with Ghost Whisperer. There was something fascinating to me about the endless possibilities in exploring "life" after death. I kind of out grew this ghost-story phase though. This year, however, I have slowly been trying to get back into the genre. When I picked up Ghosts in the Mirror I was sure that this would be the one to rekindle my love. Ghosts that need to possess people to get their stories out? Hell yeah! Boys that collapse into comas until their bodies are supported by these ghostly presences? Double hell yeah! The idea alone was what sold me.

Unfortunately I found that the idea was very poorly fleshed out. It didn't really make a lot of sense. There seemed to be a lot of background information missing. We are assumed to know about Jeremy's past conditions - but we don't since they transpired before this book takes place. Is this a sequel to something I don't know about?

The mystery was also disappointing. I didn't understand half of it. Why did Jeremy go to those old houses? Who was Melissa really? What was up with the detective man? Did that freak-fan man have anything to do with well, anything in the end? What was that Strigoi thing? What were the symbols about? What was up with the kidnapping? Did he ever figure out what that was? What, what, what...? I really had little idea what was happening.

The characters didn't make up the slack. Jeremy was rather funny but I found him a tad irritating and little too immature for my liking. I also just simply couldn't understand his actions. It makes it hard to like a character if you don't know what they are doing! What I did love about him was his resilience and the way he approached his "illness". The other characters needed more development because, despite their importance to the plot, they always remained as the "background characters" and we barely got to know them.

While I did love the premise of this, I was way too confused to be able to appreciate its genius. The execution was really lacking. I believe that with a bit more polishing this could be better and, for a debut, it was a good effort. I am sure that with time and practise
Joyce Mangola will steadily improve so I will keep an eye out for more of her work.

Note:a copy was provided courtesy of Joyce Mangola and Giselle of Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was given or taken during this process.

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