First of all, look at that cover. I was browsing through Netgalley when this cover caught my eye. After seeing who the author was (she also wrote The Chronos Files), I immediately submitted a request. When it was granted, I did a little happy dance and immediately set to reading.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Paranormal
Release Date: 10/11/2016
Source: Received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
It’s never wise to talk to strangers…and that goes double when they’re dead. Unfortunately, seventeen-year-old Anna Morgan has no choice. Resting on a park bench, touching the turnstile at the Metro station—she never knows where she’ll encounter a ghost. These mental hitchhikers are the reason Anna has been tossed from one foster home and psychiatric institution to the next for most of her life.
When a chance touch leads her to pick up the insistent spirit of a girl who was brutally murdered, Anna is pulled headlong into a deadly conspiracy that extends to the highest levels of government. Facing the forces behind her new hitcher’s death will challenge the barriers, both good and bad, that Anna has erected over the years and shed light on her power’s origins. And when the covert organization seeking to recruit her crosses the line by kidnapping her friend, it will discover just how far Anna is willing to go to bring it down.
If you’ve read the Mediator series by Meg Cabot and loved that one, I would highly recommend this one. Anna is a wonderful character, she is smart, jaded, and incredibly loyal. She stands to her convictions and seems wise beyond her years (which may be due to the hitchhiking ghosts she’s picked up along the way). The story starts out with Anna attempting to find the grandfather of a murdered young girl and the grandfather believing she’s a charlatan.
Danger ensues and the plot begins to thicken. When I thought about the book afterward, I was amazed by the breadth of subject matter covered (A murder was solved, a secret government conspiracy was unearthed, and there was even time for a little romance). The plot never felt rushed or like the reader was receiving an information dump. All of the characters, even Anna’s hitchhikers, are fully developed and each has their own personality.
There are some potentially touchy subjects dealt with in this book and I think they’re dealt with incredibly well. Molly, the murdered young girl whose ghost found Anna, went through some traumatic experiences in her last moments. These moments are shared with the reader in short glimpses rather than all at once. This allows the reader to process these horrors with Molly.
One of the things about this novel that truly stood out for me was the emphasis on family and the strength of familial ties (whether through blood or choice). I don’t want to spoil anything but the bonds between family members were truly what made this novel enjoyable for me.
I loved this book. It’s a fresh, unique tale and I thoroughly enjoyed it.