Riley Bloom, Book 2
Finished: Sept. 9, 2011
First Published: Mar. 15, 2011
Publisher: Square Fish
Genre: children, paranormal, ghost story
"Go on, Buttercup - go get it boy!"
Acquired: Received a review copy from Macmillan for Kids.
Reason for Reading: Next in the series.
Riley and her guide, Bodhi, are enjoying a vacation after their first mission of leading a soul home in book 1. While playing with her own dog, Buttercup, she comes across a Hellhound and is determined to find it and send it home but what she finds is much more than she expected. She meets the ghost Rebecca, who is very angry for having been murdered during a slave revolt in the early 1700's. She has created a bubble in which she has captured all the other souls who died after her where each one relives there most frightening moment during life over and over. Against Bodhi's wishes, Riley uses her own free will to take on this monumental mission of sending home all the ghosts trapped here by Rebecca, but can she do it without becoming trapped herself?
I think I enjoyed this second book in the series even more than the first! A very quick page-turning afternoon's read for me. I really like both Riley and Bodhi as main characters and even though they are at odds much of the time in their teacher/student relationship I find myself agreeing with each one's point of view. When not paying attention to their official relationship they have managed in this book to become somewhat closer to each other as people, not exactly friends yet, but they've seen a side of each other they hadn't known about before and now they must get over there own stubbornness. The story did get a bit gruesome with some of the depictions of the treatment of slaves and there was one source of torture that the author seems to have fixated on and repeatedly mentions; when just the once was plenty barbaric enough to lay uncomfortably in the reader's mind. It is a good ghost story; Rebecca is an evil ghost who is also caught in her own trap without realising it. When we learn the full story of her death it is supposed to redeem her in the reader's eyes but I wasn't going to let her off quite so easily! Lots of fun! Readers of the first book will enjoy this second adventure. My only real complaint is the cliffhanger ending where the characters literally walk through a door. The End. I prefer my books to end with a satisfactory conclusion even when they are parts of a series.