Monday, October 15, 2012

Darkest Hour


I've been enjoying this YA supernatural mystery series so much that I've been dragging it out as long as I possibly can. I finally caved and read this one when I was traveling (I knew it would hold my attention despite possible airline delays and uncomfortable seats), and it did not disappoint.

This series is best read in order, so to avoid any potential spoilers (I do try my best to avoid them), I'd advise anyone interested in a fast-paced paranormal mystery with a touch of romance to check out the first volume, Shadowland. Also, readers should be aware that this series was originally published under the pseudonym Jenny Carroll, and the books also (to utterly confuse matters) had completely different titles (see below).

In this installment, our fearless teen ghostbuster Suze wakes up in her bedroom with a knife at her throat to an angry, threatening ghost  - and she quickly realizes the furious woman is the ghost of the infamous Maria de Silva.  Maria is the fiancee of Jesse, the handsome nineteenth-century ghost whose been haunting Suze's bedroom ever since she moved in.  Her feelings about Jesse are, well, complicated - he is dead, after all, but there's no denying that he is handsome and kind, and he's been steadily creeping his way into her heart.

This fourth book in the series explores an area that I, for one, have been very interested to learn more about: Jesse's life and the events surrounding his death.  But the more Suze learns about Jesse's past as she tries to unravel the mystery, the more it seems that discovering the truth might mean losing him for good.

This was a great installment in the series, full of the usual action-packed mystery solving and derring-do, but also it explored Suze's feelings and her relationship with her step-brothers in a very engaging way.  She is no longer the stubborn girl, determined to manage everything on her own, her own way, on her own terms, that she was when she first arrived in California. She is putting down roots, and she is able to ask for help and advice when she needs it - although in the end, the most important decision will be up to her. The book ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger, so I am anxious to see the direction events will take from here.  This is a solid series, one I recommend often to teen readers at my library, and it is very well received.

Books in the Mediator series:

1. Shadowland  (Love You to Death)
2. Ninth Key  (High Stakes)
3. Reunion  (Mean Spirits)
4. Darkest Hour  (Young Blood)
5. Haunted  (Grave Doubts)
6. Twilight  (Heaven Sent)

Darkest Hour (#4 in the Mediator series) by Meg Cabot (Avon Books, 2001)

Also reviewed at:
A Girl, Books, and Other Things: "I think this book is one of my favorites because here we finally learn more about Jesse and his past and how he died, and about the infamous Maria de Silva..."
Marjolein Book Blog"The plot is so stunning and fun! wow! It really surprised me how fabulous it was!"

4 comments:

  1. I was tempted to read this - although it seems a bit of a mine field with all the books and name changes! But, I'm definitely going to have to find the first one now - based simply on your use of the phrase 'derring-do' which always makes me think of Monty Python and never fails to make me laugh.
    So thank you for that little moment.
    Lynn :D

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  2. Lynn - Ha! That is funny. I love Monty Python! I was a bit baffled by the different covers and titles and pseudonyms, too - I think I originally picked up the first one at the enthusiastic insistence of a teenager I was talking books with at my library. I find the best books that way!

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  3. I love this series, even though I found Suzie annoyiong at times and not the smartest decision makes at times. But I was able to look past it and enjoy the series. I have not read all the books yet, I think that I have 2 books left to read in this series.

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  4. Hi, What More Books! Sorry for the delay - I always forget to check comments on older posts. I've got to get better about that. Yes, Suze can be annoying but she had really grown on me. I have one left to go in the series, and I have to say, I'll miss it. :-)

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