Sunday, January 15, 2012

It is now Sensual Sunday, for me that is. You will be seeing this Monday morning. I really should get ahead of these days, don't you think? Anyway, since sensual Sunday is about sensual things, eating, seeing, feeling, and love I thought it would be okay to introduce two paranormal stories with a light romantic background to them. While neither one is exactly sensual, they will make you feel even if it is only fear that you feel.

The first is The Jumper by David K. Hulegaard, an easy, fairly quick read. The second is Reunion by Jeff Bennington, a good, though slower read.

So if you are in the mood for some paranormal dallying, read on. If you read nothing more, Please read my RANT at the end. It is most important.

The Jumper
By David K Hulegaard
Publisher: Fast Pencil, Inc
Pages: 114

From Amazon:
"When the real estate market collapsed, so too did R.C. Dawson's retirement plan, forcing him back into the workplace at 54 years old. He took the night custodian job at a youth community center, thinking he'd get to enjoy the peace and quiet. He was wrong.

The community center was a beautiful old building with a dark secret. It was the home to a mysterious shadow figure they called The Jumper, an innocent looking teenage boy harboring a rage that prevented him from moving on.

R.C. now finds himself on a chilling collision course with a powerful force, a 25-year old mystery, and a night he'll never forget."

About the Book:

R.C., our main character, has to find a job fast, any job. He is hired by a school which pays more than good wages for a night janitor job and he soon finds out why. Running straight into trouble on his very first day, he realizes a ghost haunts the school. And this ghost is looking to him for answers and resolutions. As R. C. digs into the story of how the young man became a ghost, he also falls for the school administrator, Janice Pinkerton. Miss Pinkerton, though, knows far more than she is telling about the death, about the strange happenings twenty-five years earlier, and just about everything surrounding the jumper. Eventually she gives R. C. a clue that not only leads him to the truth about the events leading up to the death of the jumper but also puts him in severe danger.

My Take:
 I enjoyed the writing style of the book. I liked the characters R. C. and Craig. In fact, I really, truly liked Craig though he was a very minor character in the book.

The story was straightforward and a little predictable for me. There are no twists and turns, no surprises. I think the author gave a little too much away when the ghost spoke to R. C. the first time. And remember, what some of us find predictable, others find interesting, so if you like a simple, clean read with a bit of chaste romance thrown in, you may enjoy this story.

I bought this book after seeing it on Twitter


By Jeff Bennington
Publisher: Nextgate Press
Pages: 336

From Amazon:
Twenty years after surviving a school shooting, Tanner Khan and his fellow classmates reluctantly agree to hold a reunion. Although they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, they come back to their hometown and reunite in the defunct school building.

Old flames are rekindled, fears are ignited and their lives are about to explode in a whirlwind of memories, haunted by the spirit of David Ray, the troubled teen who killed many of their classmates. Join the hurting survivors as they discover who's really doing the haunting, with a twist that you'll never see coming.

About the Book:
The book opens with the morning of the school shooting. We learn so many things about the people who will to the school for a reunion twenty years later. The book then jumps twenty years into the future with a background vignette of each of our main characters and how they are doing with their lives and with PTSD. When Maria decides to have a reunion, strange things begin to happen. Before long lots of strange things happen and death is not too far behind.

My Take:
I enjoyed the first part of the book. I felt it was a good take on how different teenagers think and react. I liked it clear through until the shooting. Then, and all of you know I like good back stories, when the book got into the back stories it started to lose something for me. I think there was too much telling and not enough showing. As the book moved back to Idaho, my interest picked up. Yet, I couldn't identify with any one of the characters closely. I did enjoy the twist in the story.

When the book got to the meat of the story, the actual reunion, I was disturbed by a number of things. How could the reunion take place so fast in a school that has been closed for twenty years? How could the government hide such a horrible secret for all those years? How could anyone who knew about the terrible thing that happened just a couple of days before the reunion allow it to go on?  The biggest problem I had with the book was a major continuity error that the conclusion of the reunion hangs on. I felt this destroyed any chance this book had of becoming a recommended read. Finally, the scene at the reunion was just too much like all the movies you see about similar situations.

I did read the book through. I would suggest, reader, if you chose to look at this book, read all the reviews both good and bad before picking it up. 

RANT: I know, I know but I just have to say something. In the beginning of the book Bennington lists several school shootings and names the killers by name. When are we going to stop making these killers famous?? When I refer to Columbine I talk about the killers of Rachel Scott. They deserve no more than that. We should make famous those who died NOT those who killed. Someone I know was a first responder to Columbine and he, too, thinks we should do this.

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