Restless Spirits (Spirits #1)

Restless Spirits - Jordan L. Hawk

TW: racism, homophobia, transphobia, mention of past sexual assault

 

I guess they never heard the phrase "salt and burn" because that would've saved everyone here a lot of trouble. Then again, the book would be much shorter. 

 

Overall, I liked this a lot. The paranormal elements were pretty predictable and hit all the major plot points you'd expect from a typical ghost story. I can't say I was every really on the edge of my seat at any point during the book, and so that whole plot was the weakest point of the story. 

 

What I did really like was the relationships. Henry has been hurt by fake psychics before and wants to save others from being scammed to. His solution is taking a scientific approach to ghost hunting. He's teaching his cousin, a young girl named Jo, to be his apprentice. This raises eyebrows everywhere because Jo is mixed race, half-white, half-black, and acknowledging her as family in that day and age (I don't recall reading a precise year, but sometime after the Civil War) was a big no-no. Henry doesn't care. He's dedicated to raising and protecting his cousin and teaching her a livelihood that she can use to support herself.

 

Vincent is a medium and can sense ghosts through smell. His last seance went horribly wrong and since then he's been hesitant to have anything to do with ghosts at all. Vincent is half-Native American, but was never raised among his tribe and doesn't even know which tribe he's from. His partner at work is Lizzie, who has secrets of her own. She convinces Vincent to join her on a ghost hunt that could save their shop. They too are very dedicated to each other, and have no secrets between them. 

 

I wasn't entirely feeling the relationship between Vincent and Henry, but I admit I was distracted while reading this book and that no doubt effected it. There's also an element of insta-love here since they go from being wary of each other as competitors to risking life and limb for each other over the course of a couple of days. Insta-love isn't usually my thing and it didn't really work for me here. Still, there was enough genuine caring between them that it didn't bother me too much.