Specter by Katie Jane Gallagher
Katie Jane Gallagher is a new author who did a fantastic job of creating a unique storyline and fantastical world mostly seeped in reality. I enjoyed the twist of how the main character, Lanie, can see ghosts and what it truly means as we learn later in the book. I also liked Ryan’s character and some of the quirky moments between him and Lanie as they get to know each other and try to solve the mystery of Lanie’s abilities.
These were the great things about this book and since Gallagher is a new author I see a lot of potential in her storytelling abilities, but it was a bit obvious she hassn’t completely honed those abilities.. I was happy that Gallagher had Lanie struggle with accepting her abilities, this felt very realistic. But then, almost immediately she trusts someone she just met with her secret and suddenly they are on the search for the truth. Although this could have been believable, as often sometimes we can trust someone so implicitly so quickly, Lanie is described multiple times as a loner who has never had a friend. So I would have loved to see her struggle more with trusting Ryan and navigating a deep and honest friendship/relationship. Instead, we only get very small snippets of Ryan and Lanie together due to the many other scenes of ghosts, research and other situations.
Which brings me to the fact that I believed a few too many things are thrown into this book which made it difficult for each detail and relationship to develop and grow. I felt like I was following the book and storyline and suddenly, bam, another situation was tossed in which was a great idea but just seemed random and thrown in just because. Also, Lanie finds some new things she can do with her abilities which is very interesting, but it happens at almost the end of the book and it would have been great to see her develop it earlier and have a lot more fantastic dreamlike scenes where Gallagher’s writing talent truly shined through.
Overall, I am very interested in reading another of Gallagher’s books as I think she is certainly talented, but I do have to warn readers that this book specifically is a bit haphazard and chaotic in a confusing way. Along with a very important friendship that seems lackluster at best.
*I received a free copy of this book from the author for an honest review.*
Synopsis: Horror aficionado Lanie Adams should be thrilled when two eighties-era ghosts materialize in her bedroom. Yet after a fainting incident unbecoming of a horror nerd, she would rather her haunting just go away—the ghosts’ waterlogged voices and ice-cold auras are more terrifying than any movie. Enlisting the help of Ryan, an entirely-too-cute stoner, she makes it her mission to put the spirits stalking her to rest.
Some sleuthing reveals that their sleepy Connecticut town is host to a shadowy, decades-old conspiracy. If Lanie wants to say a final goodbye to her ghosts, she’ll need to keep digging. But it’s important to tread carefully. The culprit is still in town—and they’ll stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.