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Dark Souls by Paula Morris

Dark Souls: A NovelMiranda Tennant arrives with her family in York, England, determined to at least try to enjoy the vacation. She and her brother Rob are still reeling from the car accident that claimed the life of her best friend Jenna. As a result, Rob can’t stand to be in any type of confined space, and Miranda, well, she can see ghosts. It’s easy enough for Rob to hide his peculiarities, but when Miranda finds out that York is the most haunted city in the world, she realizes it’s going to be a lot harder for her to hide her secret. Fortunately, one of the first people she meets is Nick, a quiet, strange boy who might be more like her than she thinks. He shows her a different side of York, one that’s rich with secrets and history—a history that only they can see and hear through lingering spirits. But soon Miranda realizes that Nick may be mixed up in a deadly plot involving a restless ghost intent on revenge. Time is running out, and Miranda may be the only one who can stop it.

Dark Souls is a novel that combines ghost stories and mysteries, and I have to say that Morris does all of this fantastically well. I was immediately fascinated by Miranda’s unique ability to see ghosts and how this unwanted skill has complicated her life. I was slightly less interested in Miranda herself; though she has an interesting past and her determination is admirable, her voice isn’t always the most engaging. Morris does do a great job of portraying Miranda as conflicted and confused though still innocent and sweet, but it can still get a little dull reading from Miranda’s perspective. Despite this, I still think that Morris is a wonderful storyteller. Even though I was able to guess ahead of the plot several times, the twists and turns in the ghost and non-ghost aspects of Miranda’s life kept me thoroughly entertained. Overall, Dark Souls is a very enjoyable if more innocent ghost story that will appeal to younger YA readers.

Fans of Ruined, also by Paula Morris, will not want to miss her second YA ghost novel, nor will readers who also enjoyed Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell.

Rating: 3.75

Review copy from publisher Scholastic

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