Date Published: 5/6/2013
Young Adult Paranormal / Horror
Journal, just in case . . .
I didn’t ask to meet ghosts. Shoot, I was fine without them in my life. Uncle Craig and Hannah were nasty to me, but at least I knew how to handle living pains in the butt. Now I have to figure out how to open and close a portal between the human and spirit worlds. And I have to find and return a bunch of angry ghosts through the gateway and lock them on their side. I don’t know why the portal chose me to do this, a fifteen-year-old kid with no ghost busting experience. But it did. And if I want a ghost-free night’s sleep anytime soon, I’d better figure out how to get the job done. Because I’ve about had it with murderous ghouls and their unpleasant agendas. “Signed Tallis Challinor”
When Tallis Challinor has to move a second time after the death of her parents, she hopes it is for good. She and her brother are ready to settle into a stable home situation with their Aunt Gabbie and her husband, Noreis. But what should have been a happy reunion is plagued with problems when Noreis opens a portal between the spirit and human worlds located in the basement of their house in New Hampshire.
Tallis is a practical kid. She doesn’t believe that ghosts exist. But she can’t deny what she sees with her own eyes and the two ghosts Tallis meets at Thanksgiving in the basement of her aunt’s house are definitely not figments of her imagination, although she wishes they were. Tallis is unwittingly drawn into the portal’s energy when one of the ghosts fixates on her and forces her to assist in the release of three particularly nasty spirits. As a final blow, the portal chooses Tallis as a temporary gatekeeper and she finds herself charged with the duty of returning the very ghouls she’s set free, plus a few of their buddies, back to the spirit realm.
As Tallis learns the secrets of the portal and begins to understand her newly acquired power, she formulates a plan to return the ghosts. Along the way, she receives help from many new friends who fill in the details about the identity of the escaped spirits, providing a possible motive for the outrageous actions of the escaped ghosts. Tallis must learn to trust herself and others as she taps into her inner courage to get the job done and save her town from the angry restless dead set.
I crouched down, holding the railing, straining to listen. And that’s when I saw them.
“No freaking way,” I gulped, heart racing, palms sweating, hands clutching the bannister so hard it hurt. “This cannot be real.”
But it was.
They had to be ghosts, pale, transparent, spooky, but surprisingly well dressed. No sheets for those two. One was a lady, wearing an old-fashioned dress, her hair curled and fastened on top of her head. The other was an old guy in a toga-like get-up, fastened around his middle with a cord. The old guy was talking to Noreis. All good thoughts about my uncle flew out of my head. Holy crap, what kind of place is this, and what kind of weirdo
has my aunt married?
There was a little too much whining and bellyaching for me; especially from Tallis. She would agonize about her plight, sigh deeply, then gird herself for battle, charging headlong into the fray. Tallis is a contrary, contradictory character. There were times when I liked her, and other times when I would have liked to have slapped her upside the head. Do not even get me started on her younger brother. Again, mostly I sympathized with him and wanted to hug him, but there was this one scene where he had me practically spitting nails because I got so mad at him. Gabbie ran hot and cold for me, too. I could understand certain of her mood swings, but there were times when I really just did not get her negativity – and this began even before the horrible accident.
As the story progresses, the history and backstory becomes convoluted. At times I got a little lost in the complexity; however, the secondary characters were colorful and added their insights to help Tallis better understand the portal’s mysterious history. I enjoyed book; reading it over the course of about three days. The nasty ghosts were ghoulish and frightening; but I wanted the helpful spirits to be less wispy. I thought the story was well-constructed and interesting.
This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review.
Reviewed by Laurie-J
Book #2 has just been released! Check Out The Inn of the Kindred Spirits.
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KD Pryor started life in Missouri, where she read lots of books, even sneaking them into baseball games to the irritation of her father. Kelley graduated with a degree in International and Comparative Studies from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. After college and marriage to a great guy, she decided to pursue a law degree at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Her oldest son was born soon after law school, followed three years later by her daughter and a move to Kentucky. One more son, a move to Ohio and four years later, her family jumped on the opportunity to move to India. They lived in Bangalore, now Bengaluru, for four wonderfully chaotic years, traveling all over Asia, Australia and Europe.
Now, settled in New Hampshire with her family and herd of cats (only three), she can often be found in her office, working on the next installment of “The Gatekeepers of Em’pyrean” series, reading one of a dozen books she has started, and dreaming of her future travel destinations.
“The Portal’s Choice”, book one in “The Gatekeeper’s of Em’pyrean” series featuring Tallis Challinor, was released on May 6, 2013.
“The Inn of the Kindred Spirits”, a novella featuring protagonist Tallis Challinor, was released in November, 2013.
“The Forgotten Gate”, book two in “The Gatekeeper of Em’pyrean” series, is scheduled for release in 2014.
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