142. Manifest by Artist Arthur

Manifest by Artist Arthur (Canada) - (USA)
Mystyx series, book 1

Pages: 248
Ages: 13+
Finished: July 22, 2010
First Published: Aug 1, 2010
Publisher: Kimani Tru
Genre: YA, paranormal
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

"I can't hear you. I can't hear you," I repeat, talking to myself.

Acquired: Received a review copy from the book's publicist.

Reason for Reading: The sounds of a Paranormal YA Ghost Whisperer with an added twist plot was enough to make me want to read it.

This is a book that I enjoyed more the further I got into it. I find that while I'm reading I often rate a book as I go along. This was a two at the beginning, a solid three by the middle and pushing a four and a half by the end so to sum it all off I've gone with an overall four. Krystal can see dead people, hear them, have conversations with them and now they are asking her for help. Ricky Watson, a very cute boy, for a ghost, wants Krystal to find out who killed him and he won't stop pestering her until she agrees to help him. Two other kids at school are trying to corner Krystal into meeting them somewhere secret when they find out Krystal has the mysterious 'M' birthmark that both of them also have. This may all be very exciting to some but not Krystal as she is in the middle of glooming over her parents divorce, her mother's moving her from NYC to hicktown Connecticut and her subsequent marriage to Gerald who seems to hate Krystal almost as much as she hates him.

When I first started reading I really did not like the character of Krystal. She was full of angst, self-importance, rude to her mother and everyone else for that matter, whiny and basically a grating narrative voice to have to read. Krystal's attitude remains the same for a good part of the book but fortunately the plot was exciting enough to keep me reading. There is a mystery to solve and the three teens set out to solve who killed Ricky; popular belief is that the crew he hung with had something to do with it but Ricky wants their names cleared and the real killer found. The story becomes more involved when Krystal meets another ghost in the boiler room, a crying girl who has had her head bashed in and thinks there may be a connection to Ricky's death.

The plot was a fun read and I ended up reading the book in an afternoon. Little bits of information are leaked as the book progresses though I knew who the culprit was early on. This plot line is closed by the end of the book. In amongst the solving of the mystery, is a plot line where the teens found out about their birthmarks and powers, this, again, is an intriguing story arc and one that will continue through the series. They learn enough in this volume but there are many more questions to ask and so much more to know. The dynamics of the group of three who are from very different backgrounds is also explored and grows.

Krystal's home life is an ongoing issue through the book and it just plain annoyed me. I'm not cold-hearted. I appreciate the drama of the situation, but it is one of those things where if everybody had just told the truth at the beginning there would not have been all this hatred and misery for so long. Toward the end there is some kind of resolution, and Krystal seems to lose her angst and bad attitude but we'll have to wait until book two to find out for sure. Because Krystal aside I really liked all the other characters, especially Sasha and I'm quite excited to find out what the next book will bring.


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