Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Release: Haunted

Haunted  2.99
Book #2

This is the second book in the self-published UF series by Ms. Natusch. A well written and edited book that continues Ruby's interesting story. I found this book well paced and quite witty at times, but I do have to concede that I thought the first book was in a league of its own, even with a few minor complaints.

So why didn't I like this one all that much? It's hard to pin-point exactly why this book never entirely drew me in, but if I had to say, it was probably the lack of character development and its thin plot. Everything about the first book worked to bring me in. From its engaging beginning, where we find Ruby mysteriously hurt and sitting under a tree, not knowing how she got there, to the thrilling ending where she makes her heroing escape with her new found friend Cooper. Overall, I found the first book's plot very tight and completely thrilling from beginning to end.  But I can't really say that about the second book, and we don't really progress all that much through the series' main plot either. I thought this book was fine, however I really never found myself entirely vested in the plot or the characters, like I did with the first book.

As I said, the plot runs a bit thin, with the first half consisting of Cooper becoming a troubled roommate, Ruby taking in a friend's teen, and Ruby attending dance class. This book's story is definitely a slow burn, as we discover the true mystery behind all the weird occurrences in Ruby's life around mid-point. And once I did get into the meat and potatoes of it all, I just didn't find it all that interesting or had enough wherewithal to care about the outcome of anyone, especially young Peyta.

Not much of the series' main plot is covered until the very end.  And that part seemed rather rushed and just a mere afterthought. We also don't get much interaction between Ruby and Sean throughout. Because of this, we get little in the way of sexual tension or romance in this book, especially compared to the first.

In regards to character development, it felt like the focus was more on Ruby's friends, rather than her, and her ARC sort of suffered as a result. In addition, I found myself disliking Ruby more and more, as the book progressed, due to her vindictive, snarky, and nagging behavior. Her venom towards Sophie also seemed a bit excessive and I found myself actually rooting for Sophie by the end, and I don't think that was author's intention.
After his near death experience only months earlier, Cooper’s behavior is rapidly deteriorating.

So what does Ruby do? She adds a new roommate into the mix. When her friend Ronnie is abruptly called away for a family emergency, Ruby takes in Peyta, Ronnie’s highly intelligent and overly observant teenage daughter. With an increasingly unstable Cooper in the house, Ruby fears for Peyta’s safety.

But when Peyta’s behaviors become as perplexing as Cooper’s, Ruby finds herself juggling a series of lies to ensure their safety as well as her own… Until the lies, and the bodies, start dropping.

In Summary, while I do think this book is well written, it just didn't hit the same notes for me as the first. And because of that, it was a miss for me. Still, I'm curious and anxiously await this author's next effort.

Warning: Expletives freely used.

-Life is too Short to Read a Bad Book-

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