I need to stop putting these off. I write these reviews but can’t be bothered to come onto WordPress anymore. I’m so out of practice. Lorequest needs tending, too… Eventually.
Time for more of Johnathon Moeller’s Ghost series!
Title: Ghost in the Blood
Series: (Book 3) The Ghosts
Author: Johnathon Moeller
Genre: Fantasy (Sword-and-Sorcery)
Release Date: December 2, 2013
Amazon Score: 3 Stars (would like to give it 2.5)
I had decided to give Johnathon Moeller’s Ghost series one more chance before I threw in the towel. And, blow me down, Ghosts in the Blood is a marked improvement of the two previous entries. It’s the first novel in the series that I could give a recommendation to. It still suffers in some areas, most of which aren’t new or shocking for those who read the first two books, but we’ll get to that.
Pros: The cast is expanded much beyond the last two Ghosts entries. Newcomers such as Radast and Ducas are a little one-note and gimmicky, but they’re decent enough characters.
-Heroes and villains are both recurring (as in, they return from earlier books), which gives the narrative a more cohesive feel.
-The villain, while similar to the last two, has an actual presence, inspiring a fair amount of both intimidation and mystery.
-Again, the action’s smooth, easy-to-follow, and entertaining. Unlike the last entry, it’s used much more sparingly, so it doesn’t get old.
-The mood is much more atmospheric and dark than the last two entries, showing a growing maturity in the writer’s skills and construction of a cohesive narrative emotion.
Con: This book, like the last two, took itself too quickly. However, unlike the last one, it had enough content set up to make it last and remain interesting throughout.
-The world was much more interesting this time, including folklore and cultural flavor; however, neither of these were fully expanded upon.
-The villain, despite her presence and power, met her end to a deus ex machina plot contrivance, which was disappointing.
-Almost none of the other heroes contribute anything meaningful to the plot— that is, most of their actions in the narrative are waiting for Caina to find everything out for them and then following whatever plan she cooks up. At least they have personalities, though. Mostly, anyway.
Overall: I’ll probably come back to this series after a break, but at least there’s that; I’ll be coming back to this series I had serious doubts about before. And Ghosts in the Blood, with its refinements and improvements, is the book that singlehandedly did it.
I decided to do a shorter style of review this time- I actually wasn’t as emotionally-invested as I was in the last review. And this is actually a good thing, considering how utterly nonplussed I was with that last entry. I could have been more invested in this story, but we’ll see what happens in the Extended Thoughts. Except that one to be shorter, too!
Good luck, you brave writer folk!