The Uninvited: A Novel by Cat Winters

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Ivy Rowan wakes up one day after being struck with Influenza. An epidemic has taken over the town and before she got sick, her father and brother had committed a terrible crime. Deep in her gut, something is telling her that it’s time for her to leave home and go out on her own in life.

Out in town, everything is in turmoil. In addition to the epidemic, soldiers are being sent to fight in the Great War overseas, dying in battle, coming back wounded, leaving behind widows and wives to fend for themselves. Ivy finds a place to board in town and seeks out a German man who was wronged by her family members-she wants, more than anything, to help him in some way.

Ivy finds herself confused, nothing is as it should be, the world is such an ugly place and she wants desperately to find beauty and warmth in it. She wants desperately to make a difference in someone’s life…But there is one terrible hitch-women in her family have always had a “gift” of seeing spirits after they have passed, right before something terrible happens to someone close to them….And she keeps seeing the spirits of the departed all around her.

What are the spirits trying to tell her? Is someone close to her in danger? Can she help enough to make a difference to someone? Can she form a connection with the German man that will give him comfort in his time of misery?

The Uninvited, by Cat Winters, is a psychological thriller sprinkled with ghosts and set in the time of the Great War. A combination of so many genres makes for an addicting and intriguing read. If you don’t like “ghost stories”, I would steer clear of this one, but if you can handle a touch of the supernatural in your reading, The Uninvited is very strange and interesting. If you like books that twist your perception and reality, The Uninvited is for you!

Wildalone by Krassi Zourkova

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Thea Slavin was accepted into Princeton with exceptional piano skills without realizing that she was following in the footsteps of her long-dead sister. The mysterious sibling was kept a secret from her until she began to follow bread crumbs into the past. She promises her parents that she will leave the past alone, but when she arrives it Princeton it becomes clear that she can’t rest until she finds out what really happened, over a decade ago on that very campus.

While adjusting to the new culture, so different from her native Bulgaria, she finds herself attracted to a dark stranger who appears from shadows and the fog to tantalize her before disappearing for days on end. Following the steps her sister might have taken, talking to the professors and university staff who might remember her, Thea discovers that not everything is what it appears to be…Even the reality of the world she lives in doesn’t seem the same.

Was Thea’s sister some kind of witch, a “Wildalone” as they are known in her native Bulgaria? Did she do rituals in hopes of gaining favor from the gods? Did she believe herself to be a supernatural being? Was she losing her mind? How does the sexy stranger tie into all of the confusion? What about the creepy janitor who is always appearing to let her into locked doors?

Wildalone, by Krassi Zourkova, is a haunting story about a girl who stumbles into a dark world where the lines between fantasy and reality seem blurred, and her own sanity is questioned at every turn. Is she imagining these events and descending into madness, the path which many believe her sister took before she died and disappeared? Was someone she met every day involved in the disappearance of her sister? Who knows more than they are letting on? Will she be able to scrape through the fog and discover what is real before she meets her sister’s fate? If you like fiction that has a touch of supernatural, Wildalone is an original twist on a story that melds fantasy with the everyday.

Finishing School Series by Gail Carriger

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The Finishing School series, by Gail Carriger, is set in the same world as her previous series, the Parasol Protectorate. The first two books are Etiquette and Espionage, and Curtsies and Conspiracies. The Finishing School Series has been adopted as Teen Fiction but will be enjoyed by anyone who loves to read paranormal fiction.

The heroine of the series is Sophronia Temminnick, a 14 year old girl whose mother wants very badly for her to go to finishing school and learn to become a young debutante and lady of society. Sophronia, however, would much prefer her usual activities : spying on people, climbing the dumb waiter shaft, playing with newfangled inventions…When the headmistress for a finishing school appears with the intention of taking Sophronia away with her, the young woman has very mixed feelings. But Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is not quite what it seems…The school is actually a training academy for espionage operatives-just for young ladies of course, the boys have their own school.

Sophronia has finally found her calling in life, but there are some mysteries aboard the floating school that she cannot resist sorting out for herself-especially in this new world where she is surrounded by paranormal beings. These novels are very fun, and the audiobooks are really enjoyable too.

 

Innocent Blood by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

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Paranormal readers may recall The Blood Gospel, by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell, in which Archaeologist Erin Granger is pulled into an ancient prophecy and a world of vampires, angels, and other supernatural beings she never could have dreamed existed. Innocent Blood is the second installment in this series, called The Order of The Sanguines.

Erin finds that her role in saving the universe is not over-she may still be the “Woman of Learning” in the prophecy, this time she has to prevent the Apocalypse and destruction of the entire earth. She must stop the supernatural being called Iscariot from bringing ruin to the whole of humanity, using her knowledge of ancient biblical history. The old gang from The Blood Gospel is back, holy men from the Vatican, the Warrior-but just to shake things up, she must deal with a psychopathic killer vampire, perhaps the most formidable female in history, natural or supernatural…Elizabeth Bathory, The Blood Countess.

Will they prevail? Find out for yourself if you like reading supernatural fiction, especially if you have a taste for a more “Dan Brown suspense” type of read.

Help for the Haunted by John Searles

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Sylvie Mason does not live a normal life. Her parents are in the business of paranormal activity-they offer “Help for the Haunted” to those in need, offering prayer and peace to souls in torment. They call themselves demonologists. This, of course, means that Sylvie has never been able to hold onto friends, and she has a hard time fitting in. Critics constantly attack her and her family wherever they travel, and they travel regularly to do talks about the paranormal at conventions and events. Strange people are always seeking the help of the Masons for loved ones who are “haunted” or “possessed”. Sylvie accepts the life she has been born into, but her sister, Rose, is not only skeptical, but highly rebellious and confrontational. Life is strained in the Mason household, and on a night like many others, the Masons receive a phone call and tell Sylvie she is to load up into the family car, without much explanation. Her parents left that car, but they never returned. When Sylvie wakes up, she finds that her entire world is gone, and the mystery surrounding the deaths of her mother and father hangs over her heavily.

When the man originally cleared for the murder of her parents is suddenly cleared by an alibi, Sylvie goes on a mission to find out what truly happened to her mother and father that night, and what has been kept from her by everyone around her for her entire life. This takes her down a path with a conclusion so shocking, readers will be stunned. If you like the paranormal, you will be enthralled by Help for the Haunted, by John Searles, through to the very last page. Readers who love the mystery of Emily Arsenault (Miss Me When I’m Gone and In Search of the Rose Notes) will also enjoy this wonderfully eerie novel. Top marks from this reviewer.