Slippery Souls (Sunray Bay Series)

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Slippery Souls (Sunray Bay Series)

Last Free Dates: 26th Jul 13 to 30th Jul 13
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View on is actually a fairly straight paranormal adventure with multiple leads....

A young woman knocked down by a car and killed finds her now-talking dog has her soul. In a town full of people like this she is hunted by vampires, finds a dark plot involving the mayor, and a dark mystery involving werewolves. Confused yet? I was.

The book has a very British cover – a painted illustration of a red-headed girl in front of the red and white strips of a seaside hut. There are no problems with the internal formatting either, which is basic, functional and does not have to be any more than that. There is no independent Table of Contents, but chapter heading are tagged so the Kindle generates one.

Initially I opened the Look inside, hoping for what this seemed to be: a paranormal story with a sense of humour. It’s not quite what I got but I downloaded the book and read it anyway. The book’s main problem is that the blurb misrepresents it badly, making it seem like a horror comedy with one focus when it is actually a fairly straight paranormal adventure with multiple leads. Immediately after meeting our main character, we are then taken off to see the sherrif for a chapter. For the first half of the book we actually spend about one chapter in three with the character presented as the main one by the blurb, one with the mayor and one with a character only mentioned in passing.

There are multiple plotlines but they only vaguely interact, and the characters have a couple of levels but not really enough depth to make me care. Trying to summarise the plot is difficult since there are several going on, but each plot is presented generally as a stand alone (it vaguely reminds me of A and B plots in television). Right at the end what should be a plot twist is actually closer to an entirely new plot which comes completely out of left field. There are some great ideas, but they never feel quite realised.

The problem for me was a lack of focus. The story can’t decide whether to be paranormal, horror, or black comedy and changes tone so quickly between each it can give you whiplash. This leads to a slightly unfocused feeling and made it difficult to get into the book. There are a few uses of profanity, but in the main the language is not so much sharp or obscene as coarse. In some places this feels forced and took me out of the story. The problem is I keep looking for more depth in this book than it has to offer – if you are looking for humour on the level of a Pratchett or Holt you will be disappointed, but at the same time the horror is ratcheted down.

While it says it is not suitable for readers under 16, the tone of the writing is pitched at about that age even if the content is not. It’s a strange disconnect. Younger Readers or YA readers might appreciate it, but this one really is not for me. It’s not a bad book, but it just didn’t strike the chord that made me think I was reading something special.

This is book one in a series, so the later ones might improve.

Rating: 3
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