Monday, July 29, 2013

Spirit and Dust (Book Review)

Monday, July 29, 2013 12:37 PM with 14 comments
Spirit and DustSpirit and Dust

Author: Rosemary Clement-Moore
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Number of Pages: 384

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Daisy Goodnight can speak to the dead. It’s not the result of a head injury or some near-death experience. She was just born that way. And she’s really good at it. Good enough to help the police solve the occasional homicide.

But helping the local authorities clear cold cases is one thing. Being whisked out of chemistry class by the FBI and flown to the scene of a murder/kidnapping in Minnesota? That’s the real deal.

Before the promotion can go to Daisy’s head, she’s up to her neck in trouble. The spirits are talking, and they’re terrified. There’s a real living girl in danger. And when Daisy is kidnapped by a crime boss with no scruples about using magic—and Daisy—to get what he wants, it looks like hers is the next soul on the line.


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MY THOUGHTS:

I really liked Rosemary Clement-Moore's Texas Gothic. I really hadn't known what to expect going into the book when I picked it up a couple of years ago. At the time I was having some serious paranormal overload and wasn't expecting too much, and so was pleasantly surprised when I ended up really enjoying the book that followed a young witch, Amy (and her sister, Phin) who's part a long-line of kitchen witches, the Goodnights. Amy can see ghosts and the book had a delicious will-they-or-won't-they flirtation between her and a cowboy (the Goodnights are from Texas). So when I heard about Spirit and Dust, I was super excited and it quickly became one of my most anticipated summer reads. While I did enjoy Spirit and Dust, I have to admit that I didn't like it as much as I wanted to and it ended up taking me over a month to get all the way through because I just kept getting distracted (see my discussion post from three days ago for more on that here), which is partly me....but part of it is that the book was a bit long-winded.

Spirit and Dust follows another member of the Goodnight family: Daisy. Daisy is a 17 year-old college freshman who can see and speak to remnants (pieces of ghost that cling to certain objects, such as a necklace or something special). She occasionally works for the FBI when they get stuck on a case. She is studying for a class at the beginning of our story when the two FBI agents she often works with show up and whisk her up north to Minnesota to check out a crime scene. A major mob-bosses' daughter has gone missing and her driver has been shot in the head. Daisy is able to speak to the driver who still seems terrified--even though he's dead--but is unable to find any remnant trace of the girl, which is a good thing because it means she isn't dead only missing. As Daisy is resting at the police station after speaking to the driver (talking to ghosts gives her wicked migraines and makes her weak), she is kidnapped by the mob-bosses henchman and taking to the McGuire's (the boss's) house. From there she is forced to bind herself to finding his daughter or die trying. She is partnered up with one of the henchmen, Carson, and the two take off to find out what is going on.

There were several things I did enjoy about this book. The baddies who took the girl are tied to something called the Black Jackal which (at least in the book--I didn't do any research) is part of Egyptian mythology which is unusual and very cool. The first two-thirds of the book was quickly paced and filled with action as Daisy and Carson travel the US, trying to track down clues about the group behind the kidnapping while discovering more and more about the mythology behind the Jackal. I really liked Daisy's character and found her witty and quick and fun to read about.

What I wasn't so crazy about was the fact that there were two love interests, which was clunky and unnecessary. Daisy has had a long flirtation with one of the FBI agents: Agent Taylor. She calls him Agent Tasty and he calls her Jailbait...which, I'm sorry, but ew. He is described as young for an agent, but c'mon, you have to be at least in your late twenties to be an agent, right? I mean, seriously, I know at least a BA is required and then don't they have to go to FBI training? Regardless, Daisy is 17! That's too young for an FBI agent--period. So that aspect was a pretty big turn-off for me. I mean to each his own, but I have just never had a thing for, like, way older guys. And I've never understood why an older guy would want to date a teenage girl. Have you ever talked to a teenager? Whatever. People can date whomever they chose. I just don't get it. The other guy is Carson and once the two are on the road, Agent Taylor fades into the background a bit. Like with Texas Gothic Ms. Clement-Moore really nailed down the chemistry between the two. I loved their banter and the chemistry between them is smoking.

Also, I found the last third of the book to be rambling and stretched out. The climax had a lot of action, like the first two acts, but it just went on and on. I would have liked this book a lot more if the author would have shaved off, say 50 pages, just to tighten the book up. Overall, I did enjoy this book and kept picking it up to read a few pages here or there over the past few weeks, but if it would have been a bit slimmer, it definitely would have held my attention more. 

I do think Spirit and Dust is worth reading. It isn't a sequel to Texas Gothic, per se, but I would recommend picking that one up first. Again, I do find Texas Gothic to be the superior book so if you are curious about the author I would definitely start there. If you've already read and enjoyed Texas Gothic, than I'm sure you'd enjoy this one as well.

14 comments:

  1. Sounds great! Especially the inclusion of a little mythology, and the pacing sounds excellent. Too bad about the love triangle.

    Great review! I'll have to check out this book the next time I'm at the library :)

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    1. The mythology was definitely interesting and it did have a decent pace. I hope you enjoy it if you do end up reading it. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Yeah, the whole jailbait thing does sound super creepy and gross! I read a book like that where he was a police officer undercover at a high school, and he kept flirting and had a crush on a high school girl. I just didn't think it was very professional.

    Love triangles do drive me insane!! That's what soap operas are for, lol.

    But overall, I think I would give this book a read. Thanks for your fantastic review. =)

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    1. Right? I mean even if he's hot or whatever I just don't get it and it's super unprofessional. She's in college, but she's still 17! It is worth a look though. I hope you enjoy it if you do pick it up. Thanks for stopping by, Heather!

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  3. I'm not sure about this one but I think you've convinced me to read Texas Gothic!
    I dislike when books get rambly too as they tend to lose my attention. The first two thirds sound cool though especially the mythology, love the sound of that.

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    1. Texas Gothic is really fun and the romance is way more age appropriate. I do wish this would have been shorter, but it was pretty good, too. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. I'm not sure about this one after your review, but I might pick it up (although maybe I should read Texas Gothic instead). The relationship with Carson sounds good, though. Does she actually have a relationship with the FBI agent or just a crush? I wouldn't mind if it's just a crush, although thinking of older guys in YA novels, wasn't Dimitri in his mid-twenties or something while Rose was 17 or something (Vampire Academy)? Great review! ~Pam

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    1. It's a crush, but a mutual flirtation. It never crosses the line which does make it more manageable, you're right. I never got into the VA books *hides*, so I don't know how old they were, but I know that is a beloved couple. I don't mind age differences when one of the people isn't under legal age. Thanks for stopping by, Pam!

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  5. The Black Jackal sounds really interesting with the Egyptian mythology, and Daisy and Carson sound like great characters. I also like the part about the ties and mob-bosses. Thanks Natalie for the great review-going to keep my eye out for this!

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    1. Yeah, the mob boss and the Black Jackal were definitely the more interesting aspects of the book. I really did like both Carson and Daisy. I hope you enjoy it if you do pick it up. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. It's a shame when you don't love an author's next book as much and I have to agree that multiple love interests usually put me off, too

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    1. It just wasn't even obvious which one you were supposed to be rooting for, even though the one is so inappropriate. I didn't hate this book, but I did wish for it to be better. Thanks for stopping by, Mands!

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  7. I have Texas Gothic on my list, and I'll give that one a try first…
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. Texas Gothic is pretty fun. I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try. Thanks for stopping by!

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Hello, there! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I read each and every one and will do my best to respond--usually on your blog instead of on mine. I will, however, always answer direct questions. Due to serious time restraints, this blog is now an award free zone, but I appreciate the thought!