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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review: Ghostland

GhostlandTitle: Ghostland
Author: Jory Strong
Page Count: 352 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: post-apocalyptic paranormal romance
Copy for review compliments of the public library

50 words or less: Caught between a rock and a hard place, shamaness Aisling McConaughey is endlessly trying to balance the karmic books. When she summons powerful djinn prince Zurael en Caym, she sets events in motion that rock her entire world.

I picked up Ghostland after I started reading the third book in this series, Healer's Choice.  I realized that I'd be better off starting this series at the beginning and therefore, through the magic of interlibrary loan, Ghostland appeared in my hot little hands.

This book is different from a  lot of the other books I've been reading lately.  It's post-apocalyptic, so it's dark, and it's definitely on the hotter side of paranormal romance.  There are also supernatural elements in play here that are not commonly represented in PNR, specifically, the world of the djinn. 

Things are not good in the post-apocalyptic world of this story.  Civilization as we know it has all but been erased for most people; only the fabulously wealthy retain some semblance of peace and safety. For everyone else, it's a hard life with little opportunity for escape.  Most people just want to be left alone; unfortunately for Aisling, that's not in the cards.

Instead, Aisling is brought on board in a bizarre missing person case to utilize her talents as a shamaness.  In order to render her services, though, she has to summon Zurael, and Zurael is, in a word, pissed.  Zurael needs Aisling to help him track down an enemy; Aisling needs Zurael to survive her trip to the Ghostlands.  Under the cloud of this mutual obligation, these two find that they can't keep their hands to themselves, and in fact, neither of them really want to.

This causes all kinds of problems because of taboo, prophecy, and a whole lot of doom and gloom, and Aisling has to decide whether love is ultimately worth taking a chance on.  The ending, I thought, needed a little bit more in the way of explanation, but I was happy enough with the rest of this story to want to read the other two books that are out right now. 

This book was definitely spicy, too- there were plenty of hot moments as well as depictions of graphic violence that totally fit the atmosphere of the book but that may not be up everyone's alley.  To each their own, for sure, but consider yourself warned.

If you're looking for a book that's spicy, engrossing, and treads the paths of PNR with familiarity and panache while bringing something new to the table, then definitely give Ghostland a try.

Overall Grade: B+
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