chez_jae: (Books)
About mid-week, I read the ebook Ghost Hall, which is the fourth part of the "Ghost Files" series, written by various authors. This one was written by Michelle Wright.

In this story, Monty and Ellen are sent to Belgium by a wealthy California real estate mogul. He purchased an old city hall there that is reputedly haunted. The fact that no workers stay for more than a day lends credence to the theory.

Monty would like to treat this as a romantic, all-expenses paid vacation, but Ellen knows they're there to work, and she keeps him on track. When they investigage the building, Ellen seems to be possessed by a strong, evil spirit that almost causes her to throw herself from the balcony. Now, they know they're up against something dark and malevolent. A ghost of a young girl appears to Ellen, and the numbers on her arm provide some valuable clues as to who, or what, may be haunting the hall.

SPaG in this one was horrible. At least twice, the author used the world "variable" when she meant to use "veritable", and it was a veritable nightmare to read. Another thing that annoyed me was Monty making some crack about Ellen's "time of the month". Turns out, it was Ellen's time of the month, and that somehow became a running theme throughout the rest of the story. WTF? I think we readers are all aware that characters in books fart, poop, pee, and menstruate. We don't need to read about it, ffs.

Favorite line: ...why is it always a marathon walk to the departure gate? Is it to weaken us so we all go quietly into the plane?

After the first book in this series was so spectacular, the rest have been spectacular fails, and this was the worst of the lot. Two stars:

**
chez_jae: (Books)
Just finished reading Ghost Fire, which is the third installment in the eseries "Ghost Files". This one was written by Eve Paludan. Once again, this author failed to live up to the first book in the set. At least this story remained firmly in Monty's first person pov.

Monty and Ellen are in Venice, CA to celebrate their anniversary. On the trip, Ellen wants to visit the art gallery of a former professor of hers, whom she was close to as an undergrad. When they arrive at the gallery, Ellen immediately senses a foreboding presence. It's a poltergeist, and it has been setting small fires all over the gallery. Diego, Ellen's former professor, is at his wit's end. The gallery is scheduled for its grand opening in only a few days, and he asks Ellen and Monty to help. Monty can't help feeling resentful, but Ellen can't say no.

They soon learn that, in addition to the poltergeist, there is the ghost of a horse, along with an evil chupacabra spirit that is killing animals in the area. Ellen and Monty are aided in their quest by a psychic cab driver, a former nun who paints dead people, and a family who creates art from organic material, including animal bones.

The story had its moments. It was exciting, although almost too much so. The author tried to create banter between Monty and Ellen, but she fell short of the lively discourse from the first book. The writing was somewhat unsophisticated, and I actually found the mental telepathy between Ellen and Monty to be distracting.

Favorite line: I'm sure that Dr Seuss could have written a rhyming book about all of the girl stuff in a Sephora store.

This was a mix between exciting and disappointing. Average score:

***
chez_jae: (Books)
Spent a portion of the day reading Ghost Soldier, which is the second installment of the e-series "Ghost Files". This one was written by Evelyn Klebert.

Well. I could tell the author changed. The characters remained the same, but she didn't write them with the same panache as the previous authors. It began in first person pov again (Monty's pov), but a few chapters switched to third person pov to follow Ellen. Just, no.

While on vacation in New Orleans, Monty and Ellen are asked to come to a military base to investigate an allegedly haunted house. Ellen is taken aback at the sheer level of activity in the home, and her reticence makes Monty nervous, too. Ellen learns that there is an entity that is entrapping and feeding on the energy of other lost souls, and it's up to her and Monty to break the hold the creature has over the others.

This story was more creepy than the first one, and I missed Monty's wit. Klebert tried to keep both characters in-character, but she fell short. Still, the plot was engrossing, and I liked how Monty and Ellen worked together.

Favorite line: When I become the last hope, the odds aren't always so good.

In a word, disappointing. Three stars:

***
chez_jae: (Books)
Over the course of two evenings, I read the ebook Ghost College by Scott Nicholson and JR Rain. It's the first in a series, but subsequent books appear to be credited to different authors. I don't know if that means they'll follow the same characters (in a round-robin format) or if the next books will branch out in different directions.

This story was wonderful. It's told in first person pov by skeptical ghost hunter Monty. He and his wife Ellen use a two-pronged attack when conducting their investigations. Monty relies on his technology, while Ellen is "sensitive". Monty doesn't really believe in ghosts, but he does believe in his wife, whom he adores. Their banter throughout was one of the best parts of the story. Monty and Ellen are called to investigate a small, religious college, where staff and students have been hearing voices, seeing shadows, and finding objects moved.

Ellen quickly connects with a young girl named Sophia, and Monty's instruments fail when the batteries are drained. When Ellen convinces him to act as a conduit to allow Sophia to communicate with them, Monty finds himself in a battle between good and evil, as he and Ellen try to save Sophia from the man known as the Dark Master.

This was a fun, engaging story. Even though it was short, Monty and Ellen are portrayed well, and I loved that Monty had so much faith in Ellen, despite the fact that he didn't experience the things she could.

Favorite lines:
♦ But this was also Southern California, where there were only two seasons: Oscar season and everything else.
♦ Middle age is hell, old age will probably be worse, and after that...well, we'll all find out when we get there.
♦ Me, I tended to ignore higher callings, because they entailed responsibility, and all I wanted was the next round of chocolate pancakes.

A man after my own heart!

Loved this one, and I am looking forward to reading the rest! Five stars:

*****

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