Author: Kat Mayor
Date of Publication: 13th November 2015
Genre: Paranormal Romance
This book was provided by Netgalley. My thanks to Kat Mayor for the opportunity to read and review.
I have a love / hate relationship with Paranormal Romance. On the one hand, I really like the added depth of plot that a PR can provide. Fleeing for your life from a spook can bring people closer together – knowing the backstory of WHY you’re fleeing for your life from said spook can offer meat to the bones of even the thinnest of thin concepts.
The ghost hunter thing has been done a thousand times before – and with good reason. Everyone secretly wants to be a Paranormal Investigator. The thrills! The chills! Personally I think Kat Mayor did a very good job of creating a diverse team of people, coming together as Spirit Chaser Investigations. Each member brought their own flavour, adding something new. Bob, the Shaman, Luis, the former Catholic Priest / Exorcist, Thai, the Buddhist sensitive…she certainly covered her spiritual bases with this cast. In fact I would have liked a little bit more time with the members of SCI – their characterisation was just begging to flourish as the book reached its end. Like many ensembles, there were perhaps just a couple too many characters for the really interesting ones to shine.
But this didn’t affect my enjoyment of the dynamic between all these vastly different people, coming together for one cause – pure ghostly evil! And the evil was certainly that – there were a couple of times when I shivered whilst reading this. There’s definitely some pretty spooky moments! The big bad was the most underwhelming part for me, in fact. Whilst it was teased throughout and pretty terrifying when truly allowed to shine, motivation and reasoning were absent from the book, meaning I was spooked but unsure as to why said spooking had been inflicted in the first place.
Casey, the female protagonist, was mostly very likeable. Not a fitness fanatic, not a health food junkie and not overly wealthy – she gave a very realistic view into the mind of an outsider entering the craziness that was SCI. I wanted a more gradual integration for her character, but I understand why Mayor did things the way she did; it’s a careful line between training montage and characterisation. She had an interesting past and I wanted to know more about her, but despite the occasionally strange action, she was a good heroine.
Austin, the male protagonist, was controlling, risk taking and more than a little arrogant. Everything Casey wasn’t – I was definitely rooting for them to end up together. And end up together they did – very soon into the book. In fact, surprisingly soon. At first I wasn’t sold; I love a slow burn and the speed of their relationship seemed forced. But after a little while I began to appreciate Mayor’s choice. Their relationship wasn’t true love’s kiss and happily ever after. It was rocky, it was a learning curve for both of them. I came to really enjoy seeing the budding romance bring out the best in both characters.
So why, after all this praise, am I only giving Spirit Chaser three stars? Well, in short, it was the ending. Whilst it was a terrifying, unpredictable and thrilling ride, the ending was also, for me, wholly unsatisfying. It didn’t answer any questions. It didn’t satisfy the reasons for why I picked up the book. The characters seemed to suddenly lose the development they’d built, acting strangely and not providing the reasoning for doing so. However, saying that, if there was a sequel? Well then perhaps I could look into letting bygones be bygones…
In the end, you must judge for yourself. Be warned: this isn’t a conventional Paranomal Romance, so don’t come into it for the Happily Ever Afters. Come for the diverse cast, the spooky moments and the realistic romance which ensues. Spirit Chaser is definitely worth your time, but you’ve been warned: the ending might haunt you – and not in a Kat and Daemon kind of way.