Monday, January 6, 2014
Wail of the Banshees
My name is Veronika Kane and dying, dying was just the beginning.
How was I supposed to know that getting smashed on my 21st birthday would lead me to becoming the 9th victim of a serial killer that's been stalking Philadelphia's streets for months? Now I'm a ghost and unlife is pretty scary. Reapers, wraiths, ghouls, gargoyles: all of the monsters that I thought were storybook characters are real! On top of it all, the powers that be in the ghost world want to enslave me and use me in their own diabolical plot to manipulate the people of the living world. Too bad I didn't turn out to be the kind of ghost they wanted me to be, and I'm not about to let them turn me into one of their puppets. These ghosts are responsible for my murder and the murders of eight other women.
A rebellion is coming, and the ghosts that run this place are about to find out just how big a mistake they made when they had me killed.
My name is Veronika Kane and being murdered isn't the end of my story.
Wail of the Banshees is an Urban Fantasy Novel and the first book in the exciting Ghost Wars saga which features paranormal horror and action set in living Philadelphia and the ghostly world of Limbo.
Well, first of all, don't judge this book by its cover. No offense to the artist who did it, but it looks a bit amateurish and I half expected this book to be pretty unedited and sloppy just because of the art on the front. I was happily surprised that that is not at all the case. The writing is actually pretty decent. I have a few small gripes, which I'll get to, but over all this is a good read.
First, what I liked about this book. I thought Veronika Kane was a fun character. She's young and a bit tomboyish; she's a kick-butt-and-take-names kind of girl, and it was fun to see a strong female lead who needs help from almost no one. Well, maybe from Ben Franklin. He sort of shows up later on, in the spirit realm. Which leads me to my next positive for this book- I loved that the author tied the real places and their history into the book. And he researched!! Oh man...I cannot even describe how much I hate it when an author writes something and sets it in a specific place or time, but does no research, that would let him describe it to the reader and make it seem even a twinge realistic. So kudos to Poulin for the realism of Philadelphia. I really felt like I was there, both in the real Philly and in the ghostly one.
I also enjoyed the ghost world a lot. It was certainly different from how I would have pictured the other side, but it was very creative. There are even different "metals" that exist in this otherworldly plane- blue steel and devil's iron, and what Veronika can do with them is pretty cool.
Now, what I wasn't crazy about. The book is all first person narrative from Veronika. That one perspective got tedious to me, and I would have liked this more if there was a bit of variety. I have noticed this becoming one of those things that irks me about some books. Maybe it doesn't bother you...if so, disregard. But I have a hard time reading a book for a long time when it's just the one perspective, and because I get tired of it, I put it down a lot, and so it actually took me a long time to finish this because of that.
My second quibble was that he actually spent too much time describing places. I know...I know...I just praised all of the research in the last paragraph, but I think the problem was he put all of that research in the book. We just need enough to get a nice feel for the place and time, and instead there were parts where I felt like I was reading a travel brochure. I think maybe 10 pages could have been skimmed off if he had trimmed down the descriptions.
But that's it. I really just wanted more variety in the perspective and less of a tour of Philadelphia. Otherwise, this is a fun, light read that will entertain you. Oh, and maybe a re-release with better cover art. ;)
I gave it three stars.