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Posted September 17, 2013
Before I get into the important details of this book, can I plea
Before I get into the important details of this book, can I please just talk about how much I LOVE this cover. It’s so gorgeous and perfectly fits the content within.
Delia’s Shadow is an honest to goodness ghost story. Set about a decade after The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, Delia Martin returns home to San Francisco for her best friends wedding, haunted by a ghost she calls Shadow. Shadow torments Delia with nightmares of her murder thirty years ago, a murder eerily similar to those of an uncaught serial killer who appears to be killing again, catapulting Delia into a hunt for the killer. Moyer promises the reader a good old fashioned ghost story and murder mystery and she does not disappoint.
I adored Moyer’s writing. It’s gorgeous, rich in detail and highly atmospheric. I also greatly admire the amount of research that must have gone into this book, I looked a few things up while reading and everything seemed to be spot on. While the book does also features the dreaded dual POV, switching between Delia and Gabe, it worked well with the story. Sometimes POV changes can be disruptive, but that wasn’t the case here. They flowed seamlessly into each other and I enjoyed getting to see things from both characters.
For the most part I also really enjoyed how descriptive the scenes were. Although I haven’t yet had a chance to visit San Francisco, it was easy to picture myself there through Moyer’s descriptions of the architecture, weather and scenery. Moyer paints lovely visual scenes. What made this a less than perfect book for me was the simple fact that as lovely as the writing was, at times it was just a little too heavy and moved just a little too slowly for my, especially during the first 30% or so of the story. There were a few times when the detail was overwhelmingly too much, especially when I’m reading a long paragraph detailing what the characters are eating.
I really loved the story being told here, and it kept me spooked and anxious/impatient for answers throughout. Moyer kept me on my feet the entire time, accomplishing something incredibly rare in a mystery novel: I actually didn’t figure out who the killer was until a paragraph before it was revealed. That never happens. I’m ridiculously good at guessing the who/why. It was creepy in all the right places and her ghosts definitely had teeth. I only had two major complaint about the plot. The first is is that we never get any real explanation about why Delia has the ability to see ghosts, or why she didn’t see them after she moved. I really wish this had been explained more, but I’m hoping it will be more of a focus in later books. The second is a pivotal scene that happens towards the end with Gabe that I felt was just too rushed through. It was one of those blink and you miss it scenes and lacked the emotional punch it should have had.
As for the characters, Delia’s Shadow is filled with tons of great ones, all well-developed and likable. Delia is lovely. Down to earth, brave, intelligent and with just the right amount of sass, she’s one of my new favorites. And of course I fell utterly in love with Gabe. He has an old-soul vibe and a quiet strength that charmed my socks off. I also really loved all of the the minor characters, Sadie especially. She was a breath of fresh air when things got too dark and a perfect balance for Delia. Of all the characters though, Isadora was my favorite. She’s strong, unconventional and mysterious and I hope there is much more of her in the future.
The relationships between Gabe and Delia, Delia and Sadie, Nick and Sadie and Nick and Gabe were all fascinating as well. This is a group of people I would have loved to have been friends with. I especially enjoyed the romance between Gabe and Delia. Despite the quick progression of their relationship, it felt completely organic. Given the high stakes environment they are thrown into and the amount of time they are spending together, it felt natural for them to fall in love so quickly. I also loved that their romance did not overshadow the more important aspects of the plot. It was just a quiet, steady presence that added rather than distracted.
I really loved this book and I want ya’ll to be excited about it too. It was a wonderful debut and I look forward to getting my hands on a finished copy, as well as future books.
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Posted June 21, 2014
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