I was into the first chapter of Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre, when something made me pick up Wraith by Phaedra Weldon. The first chapter got me hooked: the beginning was nice; the middle, startling; and the end, shocking. After Sins & Shadows by Lyn Benedict, I wanted a paranormal mystery heroine that isn’t so fierce and intelligent for a change.
But… Just like numerous characters, good and bad, in fantasy stories everywhere, I forgot to take heed of that classic warning, “be careful what you wish for, you might get it,” I wished, and, indeed, got very little of the ‘smarts’ that make heroines admirable…
Even though Zoe Martinique has the ability to astral-travel, a talent that launched her career as a small-time snoop, she is far from being able to handle murder, on the physical and spiritual levels. While out of body, she witnesses a ghostly creature, who she dubbed Trench-Coat, shoot and steal the soul of the man he killed.
What’s more harrowing, this improbable killer can see and hurt her.
What follows is one mishap after another, due to Zoe’s insatiable curiosity and incomprehensible logic of why she has to dive into the thick of things with little preparation and no word to those who can help in case something goes wrong—which something always does!
I don’t know who were at their wits end more, me or Zoe’s psychic mother, the goth-techno friend, or their two gay ghost housemates. By the nth kidnapping, abduction, serious injury, I was pulling my hair by the roots. It didn’t help that Zoe is a trying-hard pa-cute, hard-headed mama’s girl! Her habit of making mental notes at very other page was also distracting.
If only her love interest, Lieutenant Daniel fraser, would be sharper. But no; he’s an open book, and he probably thinks his case is too, spilling all the juicy details to then stranger Zoe just because she asked.
On the brighter side, despite these irritants, the plot and supernatural elements are interesting. I was engaged enough by the story, even if I had to crawl my way past my own mental notes (why, you dumb….!; no, don’t do thaat!!!; wait for ….!!!!) to finish it, and read the sequels—but only because I have this irritating habit of finishing what I started… despite the mental notes.