by Pauline Creeden
(Shadow Maven #1)
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy / Paranormal
Publication Date: March 31, 2014
Publisher: AltWit Press
Source: Netgalley via Publisher (Thank You!!)
Goodreads Synopsis: Chira Kelly thought she didn’t need anyone…until she met Ben.
Because of one ugly rumor, Chira lives as an outcast at her school. Which is fine with her, because she works better alone. Always has, always will. And at least she has her one and only true friend, Tasha. When Tasha insists that they join a group to visit a possibly haunted abandoned old schoolhouse, she's wary, but joins her friend. Because of that decision, their lives are in jeopardy as a malevolent spirit targets the group. Tragedies and accidents pick them off one by one, and Chira finds herself drawn to the one person who can see the truth. But can he protect her?
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Review: Let me begin by saying: I loved this book. So much. I really had no idea what to expect when I began reading this book. However, I was intrigued by the cover when I came across it on Netgalley, and then the synopsis had me hooked. I'm that person who cannot decide if they believe in ghosts. My friends all think there is no way....and then there is me, always wondering if maybe they are there. Nonetheless, I was thrilled to read a book that had some supernatural elements such as this in it without being completely overboard. The book still seemed incredibly realistic to me, and that is something I think is very important.
I love the main character, Chira. From the very beginning it was clear I was going to like her, though. She is an outcast at school, having always just having one friend, Tasha. Then a rumor began a couple years back claiming that Chira is gay, and her social status could not be any lower. Despite that, she does not seem bothered by it all, and she is a really good sport about the taunting. That is something I can really appreciate. Despite that, she is going through some tough things that she does not talk about much. Her father died when she was young and now she's stuck dealing with her step-father who treats her horribly, and her mother is always working at a diner to make ends meet.
When Ben comes into the picture, I love the story even more. From the very beginning it is clear there is something different about him, though I could not figure it all out at first. He has had a rough childhood, being passed here and there, before he comes to Elizabeth to live with his uncle who is a police officer, and his cousin, Matt. He joins into the group a bit, Chira becoming part of it because Tasha has a way of getting along with everyone. She somehow gets them an invitation to the Old Schoolhouse, said to be haunted, where some of the popular students want to have a party.
After seeing a ghost in the old building, things begin to go downhill for the group of friends. Tasha grows terrified and runs out. While Chira runs after her, begging her to stop, Tasha does not and ends up getting hit by a car. Then things start to plague the rest of the group. Two of the boys suffer in two very different ways, though everyone seems to believe it is a curse or the ghost from the old schoolhouse. Then another girl in the group goes missing, before Chira ends up being taken herself. This is something Ben had tried to avoid, having been acting as a bodyguard for her.
Honestly, I had no idea what was going to happen at the end of this book. I had no idea who or what was behind everything that was happening, and I really liked that. It is nice to read something and not know exactly what is going on; though, I have no problem with books that are predictable, either. I don't do well with horror, but this had an element of it without being too much for me, which is something that I appreciate very much.
I love reading indie authors, so I am thrilled that I was able to read and review this book by Pauline Creeden. I do believe that it was wonderful, and her writing is something that I could continue to read over and over again. I simply cannot wait for the next book in the series to come out, and I very much look forward to seeing what happens next for the characters.
Rating: 5.0 / 5.0