They say every town has its secrets, but that doesn’t even begin to describe Whispering Pines. The townsfolk are a superstitious lot and the mystical disappearance of a local teen has everyone murmuring about a centuries old witch’s curse.
When sixteen-year-old Shiloh Ravenwolf takes a summer job at Ravenhurst Manor, she discovers a ghost with an agenda. That’s where she meets the new town hottie, Trent Donovan. But Trent may be the next victim on the supernatural hit list, and Shiloh is the only person with the power to save him. Complicated much?
After receiving cryptic messages from a creepy wraith and frightening threats from a demon, Shiloh finally begins to understand the mysterious significance of the strange mark branded on her wrist. Now Shiloh must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to protect the other teenagers in town.
Unfortunately, for Shiloh, not all ghosts want help crossing over. Some want vengeance.
The request for a book review has been sitting in my inbox since last summer, but school and other things swamped me so I’ve been unable to really concentrate until now. I really wish I hadn’t waited this long; while the first time I merely skimmed the book, a real attentive read told me there is a lot of action, and it was worth my time.
At first I had a bit of trouble connecting with the main character, Shiloh. I felt like her relationships with Mom and Dad and–well, everyone seemed a little unnatural. Then I kept reading and realized it worked just right. This book gets spookier with every page you turn. My impression on Chapter One was that Iron Fey fans would enjoy it, but as I progressed through the novel, the similarities faded and this book began standing on its own.
It’s got the extremely dark environment nailed down. I could feel how the author added layers of suspense to each spine-chilling scene. Shiloh has dark shadows following her everywhere, whether it’s in her room or the haunted house where she’s volunteered to work. When she gets the job at Ravenhurst Manor, that’s when the suspense takes a giant leap. I enjoyed seeing her mentor train her, and her personality made me smile many times.
Soule is very good at description–you can bet I highlighted a lot of sentences (“The black ink had been dry for decades on the heavy parchment; the pages that smelled like incense, sweet honey, and roses” “Her last words dangled over our heads like a noose” “Something enchanted, like a wildflower in the shade of the forest” “Her blue eyes were like dying spring flowers with frostbite”)
I like her boyfriend, Trent. This guy seems really shallow at first, yet I felt between the lines there was something special about him, and learned in the end that I was right. He’s got a dark history and doesn’t know about it; he’s in denial, so how will he find out? Though all the girls in town are after him, he likes Shiloh, the “weirdo.” It sat well with me, showing that he pays attention to the people around him.
Even though a couple of scenes were tough to get into, action makes up for that. When it’s time to run, boy does Shiloh run! I would read this book again–in fact I’ve already read it twice–and I tell you, the action and the setting are very well-written. Beautifully Broken is a good book. You’ll be at the edge of your seat, because it’s spooky. Though I’m generally not a huge fan of ghost stories, I strongly suggest you give it a chance, and can’t wait to read more by this author!