Death Whispers by Tamara Rose Blodgett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Death Whispers(The Death Series,#1) by Tamara Rose Blodgett
I wasn't sure how much I'd like this. Paranormal Young Adult with some romance. It starts out slow and with the protagonist being somewhere between 13 and 14 that's understandable because we're going to see a lot of school time. The young age and the school setting and a lot of the dialogue, not to mention some unusual narrative make this a teen novel teetering on the edge of young adult. But as it goes along it sustains my interest and it makes for an entertaining first novel for a series. Being a grandfather I winced at the too soon early age falling in love thing.
It has a prologue which I think was unnecessary it just needed to be an extra chapter. If there were an epilogue and they stood like book ends or sentries on each end, I might let it slide, but it reads like just another chapter and I'm not sure why a prologue was decide. It doesn't hurt the book because it's just another part so it's not bad; like the one that seem to have marginal content to help move the story.
Caleb Hart is just an average teen, with a lot of growing up to do. He acts and sounds like a teen and that is expected. He hangs with teens and they all act like typical teens and that's expected again. But they live in a world that has moved the bar on the teens and now everyone gets a shot that will tweak their DNA and somewhere around their 14 the birthday many will start manifesting their paranormal gifts. And for Hart its going to be AFTD (Affinity for the Dead) one of the most prized and least sought after gifts. There are levels; five of them, and if Hart were lucky he'd only score a two or three. But Hart is not lucky and he knows he has a five. Hart also has a father who is famous for his research in this area and dad can find something to tone his talent down a bit before he gets tested because if he tests out to a five he'll be like Jeffrey Parker.( and he sort of vanished in the system because of what a level 5 AFTD can do. )For Caleb it starts out simple, he hears dead frogs and a few other unfortunate creatures. Then to prove to his buddies that its AFTD and not queasiness that makes him shun his work in biology he accidentally raises the dead and nearly can't put the poor fellow back in the ground. So of course his parents do what any parent should do and they test his abilities by heading out to raise grandma. That of course could only go bad and it gets worse when some people from school happen by and everyone freaks out while granny is punching a few of the kids around.
Before they put granny back to sleep she tells Caleb that a girl with the name of a stone is going to be his greatest ally and that he needs to protect her, which is great because Caleb has a girl friend he likes named Jade (who test out for Empathy.) In the meantime while trying to keep it all low key Caleb brings a dog back to life before it's life force gets away and he has a new friend in the dog. His mother names the dog Onyx even after having heard what grandma said so I'm not sure what kind of message she's trying to send. Being slightly irresponsible as are many teens Caleb and his group have a devil of a time keeping his talent a secret and they will soon find out there is a secret government project inside the government project that means to take Caleb who may turn out to be even more than what Jeffrey Parker was.
Caleb puts together his team (think scoobies.) They even have a dog. They hunt ghosts and raise the dead and fight the evil and eat lots of cookies, pizza and ice-cream.
This book kept me entertained and I look forward to more, but now for the caveats. This book is not for the faint of heart grammarian. Those who are picky and pernickety should steer clear for a number of reason. There are missing words and the wrong words used in several occasions. There are times when the dialogue is missing a quote mark and I don't mean dialogue that spans paragraphs I mean dialogue that goes right on into or comes right out of narrative with no quote mark and such rapidity that it make the head spin.
This book also has some different style choices. Such as breaking up works or sentences with periods almost like web addresses.
Sunday. At. The. Cemetery.
Blodgett, Tamara Rose (2011-03-30). Death Whispers (The Death Series, #1) (p. 116).(p. 118). . Kindle Edition.
There are several expressions I'm unfamiliar with but I'll let that pass since its been a long time since I was a teen and teen speak is probably different. Punctuation sometimes seems a bit odd, but that's my weak suit also.
All in all there are enough road bumps to make this four star instead of five.
A little editing could have gone a long way. And possibly some of us writers would benefit by not trying to give English lessons within the text of our novels until we get our own grammar sorted out. Some of it was enlightening, but there were suspicious elements in there.
The part with the dog's thoughts were a bit of a different style choice that I'll for the time chalk up to that funny name Onyx.
Overall this is a pretty good Teen Tween Young Adult Paranormal and Occult. Not much for SFF and Dystopia, but one might argue that there are thin weaves of the two in the text. Good plot, good story line, great pacing. I read straight through and cruised past all those road bumps. And I'm looking forward to reading the next two.
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