Poltergeist by Kat Richardson

This one was so much better than the last one. There was a focus to the whole thing and not nearly as much of this things happening because they needed to happen. There was a much better balance struck between the case and everything else happening in Harper’s personal life. It’s also nice to know that she does have friends, though at this point, I wondered if those were one off characters.

This time around, Harper is trying dealing with an experiment at a local university where they have accidentally made a poltergeist that is now killing people in the group that created it. It’s an interesting concept and there is an actual mystery in it because she is trying to figure out who did it without using a lot of physical evidence because the murder weapon is a ghost made by the group that leaves no trace.

You know what helps this book a lot? There is only one case. The jumping back and forth was what made the last book such a mess, and there’s none of that now. It read more like a mystery than the last one and I was actually trying to figure out who did it by the end of the book.1

What doesn’t help is the thing I don’t like about mystery novels. There are always sections of it where the protagonist steps back and thinks through the facts, putting together the clues in a way that makes sense. These monologues need to happen, but they always throw me in a story and I find myself tuning out despite these arguably being the most important parts. They always feel like recaps and I’ve just read that in full detail several pages ago. Why didn’t you tell me this then, even though you had absolutely no reason to put it together until right now?2

The magic of the series is getting explained to a bit of a strange degree, though. There’s always something that makes me nervous about doing that because there’s too much opportunity to write yourself into a corner and have to completely break your own rules about your universe in order to make the story continue to work.3

I also wonder if calling Carlos is going to be a thing. She calls the Dazingers as soon as she needs a magical problem solved, but is she going to need Carlos for every climax? I get that she deals in ghosts, but is the necromancer going to be necessary all of the time? I might be more okay with it if the description didn’t always talk about how intimidating he felt,4 but I kind of want to see Harper actually take a climax n her own.

Lastly, let’s talk about Will Novak. He is bland. He is female love interest bland. They seem to be together entirely for the [insert cheesy sex euphemism here] and nothing else. He doesn’t know about her world and doesn’t want to. This is not a good foundation for a relationship. At this point, I’m kind of shipping Harper/Quinton just because they seem to be a better match.

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  1. I was also right, which was awesome. []
  2. This is probably the reason I’ve never really gotten into murder mysteries or cop shows for very long. []
  3. Being on the sixth book now, this does not happen. The whole thing works out really nicely. []
  4. Admittedly necessary []