Release Date: 05/09/11
When Emma Vaile’s parents leave on a mysterious business trip, it gives her the perfect excuse to be a rebellious teen. But then her best friend stops talking to her, the police crash her party and Emma finds herself in the hands of a new guardian, Bennett Stern, and on a plane to his museum-like mansion in New England.
After enrolling at Thatcher Academy, Emma settles in by making friends with the popular crowd. She has memories of Thatcher she can’t explain and strange visions are haunting her. Emma doesn’t trust anyone any more - except maybe Bennett. But he’s about to reveal a ghostly secret to her. One that will explain the visions . . . and make Emma fear for her life.
It’s always interesting to see a new series bursting out of the YA genre in much the same way that the Alien did to John Hurt in Aliens. However when a new series seems to follow certain themes from other authors they have to get the mixture just right as otherwise the proverbial word soufflé just won’t rise.
Whilst this title was entertaining, for me, the author just didn’t quite get the right mix of the whole thing, yes there was emotional conflict within reminiscent of Alyson Noel’s Immortal series, yes there were some themes reminiscent of Charlaine Harris’ Harper Connelly series and there was angst as the lead character is thrust into a world that she doesn’t understand. Yet overall whilst each of these elements work well on their own, it felt to me that not enough time was spent on developing the lead character to make her the key ingredient to which all the others were based.
That said it was a fun title to read but when it doesn’t stand out from the crowd then sadly the author has a lot more work to do in future titles in order to give the readers that connection, which in subsequent titles can be a little too late. I will follow this series as I do wonder where it’s going to lead overall but it is not one that will have to be grabbed the minute it lands.