This author is a master of balance. Much like with the first book, I was impressed with how smoothly the mystery unfolded, connected, and made sense; it was intriguing without being confusing or contrived–a rare thing to find. This book also had humor, like the first, but not so much that it overpowered the tone or took away from the intensity. Even the backstory was intricate and gray (as in, not black or white) but didn’t overwhelm the story; it just added a layer of intrigue, tied everything together, and made me question the characters’ intentions. This book even had a little more action and a little more emotion than the first, as Grateful’s witchy duties and relationships progressed, as well as a snarky but lovable new character (her familiar, a talking Raven).
I also loved loved LOVED, again, Grateful’s strong personality. In every bad situation, she was constantly using her head, thinking, assessing, making a plan, and fighting. She never gave up. She never even half gave up. Yeah, she did get help sometimes, but she didn’t sit around waiting for that help to come. Female protagonists often kind of whine and flounder and half-ass and sit around waiting for an opportunity to make another move or get away. Grateful made her own opportunities and had firm convictions when it came to the important stuff. She sometimes made mistakes, but you would, too, if faced with the intense, confusing situations that make up her life. It made her realistic.
If you liked the first book, The Ghost and the Graveyard, you’ll like this one, possibly even more!