Friday, July 20, 2012

Review: Wraith

Wraith by Phaedra Weldon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Urban Fantasy Reading Level: Adult

Disclosure: I received the last book and the short stories in this series from the author in exchange for an honest review. I am happy to also provide an honest review for this book, the first in the series, which I purchased for myself.

Synopsis: Zoë Martinique has turned her unusual ability into a career. When she's traveling, she can't be seen which makes her an ideal professional snoop. I ndustrial espionage, surveillance, whatever. But one night things get out of hand while she's out of body. She witnesses a murder and a soul stealing, and discovers she has unwelcome company: Trench- Coat, a ghostly killer who can see and hurt her. 

Teaming up with a blue-eyed police detective, she tries to solve the case and improve her love life. She also enlists the support of her psychic mother and the ghostly couple who haunt her house. And with murderers, kidnappers, and a desperate ex-porn star involved, Zoë needs all the help she can get.

My Thoughts: You can tell that this was actually written before the prequel, Web Ginn House, since there are things explained in this book as new that are mentioned as a matter of course in the prequel. Likely those who read these stories in chronological, published order rather than series order will be less likely to notice these sorts of discrepancies, though. I just decided to read it in series order for fun, even though it meant riffling through Tales from the Abysmal Plane and reading it piecemeal.

I enjoyed the humor a lot – Zoë had a wonderfully funny way of describing things that made me laugh out loud several times. Weldon has that sort of wry, self-deprecating humor in her writing that appears to be the hallmark of the southern-based, Urban Fantasy writer, a style which I really enjoy. She also captures the overweening vanity that seems to be a staple of the Southern woman – or so it seems to me – constantly concerned about appearance. Maybe it was because I grew up on ranch, I don’t know, but things like grey hair and a few wrinkles just weren’t that big of a deal to the role models with whom I grew up; however, a few white hairs is enough to send Zoë into a panic, and causes her mother and her friend Rhonda to both make comment sabout her needing to visit her hair dresser.

One thing really bothered me. Zoë has been doing this astral-travel-to-snoop-on-people thing for six years at this point – and she still can’t remember to not speak or make noises while spying on someone? After six years? I don’t quite buy it. Sure, it’s a useful plot device, but I just don’t buy it. Maybe if she had only just started with this business I would be more willing to go with it, but... again... six years??? Nope.

But, really, that’s a small part of the whole book and not enough of a problem to even phase me; just thought I’d mention it, so the whole review wasn’t fangirl gushing. Fans of Urban Fantasy should love this series, so definitely check it out.

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