Spoiler Free Section (For those who haven’t read the book and for those who don’t have dead people telling them what’s going to happen)
I enjoyed reading this book though admittedly it wasn’t a page turner like I expected it to be. I felt like I could put it down and do other things if I needed to but I didn’t feel like I had to put it down just to get to the end. The characters were interesting though sometimes the point of view would get a little disorienting. In the end, I recommend this book to people looking for an easy read with a positive message and a touch of the paranormal. I give the book a three out of five stars.
Spoiler Section (Only go past this line if you’ve read the book or if you are prepared to risk being spoiled)
This book did several things well. For starters, I liked Caleb and Charity and Gracie as characters. They were well developed and interesting and I wanted to root for them. The villain, Colonel Samuel Herrington, seemed like a flat troupe for majority of the book but there were two moments in which I practically shouted, “Yes! That’s what I was looking for!” In those moments, he defined himself beyond his troupe and became an interesting character. The first was when he was both saving and seducing a woman at the bar and the second was right before he killed himself. The moment where he was reduced to his scared, child-like self in the face of the ghost of his abusive father, he seemed so much like a real character to me. I applauded Seago in his crafting of that scene in particular.
I had a couple of issues with the book. For starters, just about everyone in this book was psychic. It seemed like a weird thing for so many people to have in common despite the fact that all of them think they’re the only ones. That means that in this universe, psychic abilities aren’t known as common yet here is a whole group of people clustered in the same situation, who are psychic. That just seems unbelievable. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure that the psychic thing was necessary to the story because the characters seem able to handle everything in a more mundane way instead of using their abilities. I think the main reason they even had the abilities was just to affirm to the reader and the characters that they were on the right path and to give paranormal foreshadowing for the attack by Herrington.
The other minor issue I had was the shifty pov and when I say this was minor, I mean that really only the fact that the dogs were given their own pov segments bothered me. The rest seemed rather logical and done well but then suddenly Solomon and Chauncy were given a chance to comment on the story. I understand that they were important to the story and helped to characterize Charity and Caleb but their pov didn’t enhance the story nor did it really make sense in this type of book. Again though, this was a minor issue because this only occurred a couple of times.
The main issue I had was with the ending. The fact that Caleb was actually Rick and that the real Caleb had been the one to die during the war didn’t make sense. It made more sense that Caleb would take on Rick’s identity to maintain a life for Rick’s child and wife but not that Rick would take on Caleb’s life when Caleb was an unattached bachelor and Rick was a father and husband. Beyond that, he kept in contact with his wife as Caleb but never seemed to show the type of love towards her that one would expect from a husband. In fact, he feels free to start dating Charity despite the fact that he knows he still has a wife and child even though the wife doesn’t know. It just feels illogical. It makes me question whether or not he wanted to stay in his relationship with his wife. Did he even love her? Did he even want to be a father? Then other questions are raised. How did Caleb’s blind sister not notice that the voice of Caleb wasn’t Caleb’s? That he acted slightly different? How did the wife not know it was her husband? Finally, my final issue with the ending is that Caleb told the daughter that Rick was her father parading around as Caleb yet the girl isn’t upset by it and manages to keep it a secret. For her age, I would expect her to be hurt that he didn’t appear to want to be a part of her life and was marrying another woman instead of her mother. At the very least, it would be on her mind a lot and thus she might slip to her mother. The end seemed to me like it was designed for shock factor instead of being a logical plot point. It didn’t feel real.
I do want to read the second book though I feel like the ending of this book made it appear that the book was a standalone so that I don’t feel compelled to read it right away. Still, I am interested to see how Seago continues to develop this world and the situations in it.