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Title: Delia's Shadow
Author: Jaime Lee Moyer
Year Published: 2013
Synopsis: A dark, romantic fantasy set against the backdrop of San Francisco devastated by the Great Quake.
It is the dawn of a new century in San Francisco and Delia Martin is a wealthy young woman whose life appears ideal. But a dark secret colors her life, for Delia’s most loyal companions are ghosts, as she has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with an ability to peer across to the other side.
Since the great quake rocked her city in 1906, Delia has been haunted by an avalanche of the dead clamoring for her help. Delia flees to the other side of the continent, hoping to gain some peace. After several years in New York, Delia believes she is free…until one determined specter appears and she realizes that she must return to the City by the Bay in order to put this tortured soul to rest.
It will not be easy, as the ghost is only one of the many victims of a serial killer who was never caught. A killer who after thirty years is killing again.
And who is now aware of Delia’s existence.
Review: You know when you love a book so much that you just can't into words how you feel about it? Yeah. That's this book. I mean, I knew it was going to be dark and have romance and ghosts and a serial killer, but it just blew me away how well everything is woven together. I felt all of the feels in this book, and it was absolutely wonderful.
Ghost stories have been done before. Some people can see ghosts, others can't. People are haunted by certain ghosts. But somehow Jaime manages to take this popular plot and turn it into something completely different. Delia's ghost, her Shadow if you will, wants something from her. So badly, in fact, that she traveled across the country to get Delia back to San Francisco. I loved how her story is intertwined with Delia's and her friends' stories. There are so many little details that I didn't pick up on until later that made me realize just how ridiculously connected everything is.
The mystery part, to me, felt like it was split into two segments. First, who is Shadow and what happened to her? Then, once we figure that out, the mystery becomes finding out who the serial killer is. Although both have several twists and are not immediately obvious, I do think the first was more shocking than the second. It took me a little longer to figure out all the twists with the first one, and I was surprised when information was revealed. I thought the romance part was done very well too - Sadie & Jack's story is super sweet and I love them together, and Delia & Gabe's budding romance begins slowly and reluctantly and evolves as the two become better and better friends. Nothing happens too quickly, and if things progress a little fast it's always explained well.
I'm still not really used to switching perspectives and switching narration styles at the same time, so it took me a little while to get into the transitions from Delia's first person to Gabe's third person. I think it works very well in this book, but it's just very jarring the first couple of times. I think Gabe's sections helped give a more complete picture of all of the characters, since we view them from an outside source, but I really liked being inside Delia's mind and seeing the ghosts as she saw them and feeling the things she felt. I don't think it would have worked if we had been outside of Delia's mind, since I don't think I would have been so completely immersed in the whole ghost experience.
I really just loved everything about this book, and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a dark, gritty, romance full of mystery and ghosts. I would NOT recommend this to a younger audience though, because there is a lot of blood and death and gruesome descriptions of how the victims were tortured before they died. So anyone with a weak stomach should probably avoid this book as well. This book reminded me quite a bit of Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard, so I think fans of that series would also enjoy this one. A 5/5 from me, and I can't wait for the sequel!