Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review: Gilda Joyce, Psychic Invesitgator by Jennifer Alison

Wow, I really seem to like ghosts, don't I?

Of course, our protagonist for which this series is named isn't much different...

When spunky, smart, headstrong Gilda Joyce's father died of cancer, she was left with her annoyingly nerdy older brother, her now-single mother, an inherited typewriter, and a firm goal. From now on, she would type up crazy stories on her father's aforementioned typewriter, pore over books on the subject of spiritual communication, conduct séances, spy on random people with her friend Wendy, and generally do anything--and everything--she could to come to her goal. 

Yes, she wanted to be--and may already be--not just Gilda Joyce, but 13-year-old Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator.

So when given the opportunity, she jumps on a chance: she takes a break from her spy work and visit her uncle in San Francisco. 

But this isn't a casual vacation. When it comes to Gilda, there's no such thing. No, she's a girl with a purpose. And that purpose happens to be very specific.

Stories of her aunt Melanie Splinter, her uncle's sister, surround the wealthy, old California mansion. More specifically, of her aunt's death by falling from the mansion roof. Or was it her alleged suicide? Did she jump off? Whichever it was, Gilda's curious, and wants to find out.

However, there are some problems to deal with. For one, her uncle is quick to clam up once anyone starts digging into this mystery, making investigation more difficult. For another, Gilda's cousin Juliet may have the life other girls her age dream for, but that dampened considerably when an attempted séance at a sleepover years ago lost her all her friends and made her life actually quite miserable. In fact, just before Gilda arrives at the Splinter mansion, Juliet almost went the way of Melanie--that is to say, suicide--and would likely have followed through if not for the sight of a ghost.

It turns out Gilda has a lot more to investigate than she originally thought. And as she delves deeper into this mystery, the danger doesn't seem to be getting better. Will she be able to convince Juliet to help solve the case with her, or even to bring Melanie's spirit to rest?

Okay, to be honest, I hate scary books. I'm extremely (extremely) paranoid about the paranormal, and anything else moderately creepy. (Like Doctor Who, for instance. Amazing show, but terrifying.) I don't need help imagining these things. (I can only hope this wears off before I start reading Stephen King.)

Still, Gilda's headstrong, wacky, almost goofy attitude makes the whole series hard to resist. She keeps going on with the investigation no matter what, so you can't help but want to finish the case with her. And while the later books (such as Dead Drop and The Ghost Sonata) do tend to be a little creepier, the charm remains (although it does wear off a little as Gilda gets older).

The introduction is a little choppy and rushed, but you pick up the rhythm pretty quickly (I'm guessing this is Alison's first book) and from my experience, you can read them out of order without a problem (This was the third book I read in the series; I started with my now-favorite, the Ghost Sonata.)

This book, as well as all of its sequels (The Ladies of the Lake, The Ghost Sonata, The Dead Drop, etc.) are all worth a read.


No comments:

Post a Comment