Spectral Investigations

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Teenagers might think that nobody listens to them, but when no one can literally hear, or even see you, you have a whole new set of problems, such as being dead, as in Bad Girl Gone by Temple Mathews.

16 year old Echo Stone can’t figure out why she’s woken up someplace she doesn’t recognize, Middle House, surrounded by rude kids she doesn’t know. Or why she keeps being called an orphan when she knows that her parents are alive. When she sees her parents driving away from her home, which worryingly appears to be a bloody crime scene, she stands in the middle of the road but their car goes right through her, forcing her to realize that she’s dead. A ghost. Lingering until she can solve and seek vengeance for her murder, Echo works with other murdered kids at Middle House to figure out what happened to her, which also provides an opportunity for Echo to realize certain truths about herself during the process.

The story and concept had me intrigued from the start; however, while the narrative had potential I ultimately found that this could have been developed into something greater, and more enjoyable, than it is. There were some continuity errors, notably with the eye colors of Cole and Andy. When Cole was introduced as Hazel Eyes and then later said to have blue eyes and Andy is introduced with blue eyes and then his brown eyes are mentioned…not great – it pulled me out of the narrative to question it, which breaks any suspension of disbelief I had going. Echo was also a rather annoying character – she seems to have one image of herself, oblivious to attributes of her personality that others find detestable about her – maybe I could buy that being killed messed with your memory, but she had no problem recalling things about others; plus she seemed to define herself based upon her relationships with guys, which is never something that I like to see in a character, especially when the romantic angle overtakes the mystery angle of the story.

Overall, I’d give it a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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