“Everybody’s haunted by something.”
Generation Dead author Waters (2008) turns from zombies to ghosts in this supernatural thriller. Six years after the Event, a seemingly 9/11-type occurrence that killed an estimated 2 million people, ghosts (even those not associated with the Event) continue to inundate Jewell City. Teen Veronica Calder, born on leap day, sees many of these ghosts, including her father and fellow teen Brian, who committed suicide in her bathtub years earlier. Hoping to capture Veronica’s attention, classmate Kirk begins an independent study on the city’s ghosts. Also vying for her attention is serial killer and history teacher August Bittner, whose daughter died on leap day many years ago. As another leap day approaches, he secretly plans to kill Veronica in an effort to bring back his daughter’s spirit. Although occasionally slow, the fresh story reveals flashes of the author’s dark humor amid the terror as Kirk and Veronica’s initial romantic interest turns to trying to prove Bittner’s guilt in local unsolved murders, as well as trying to keep Veronica alive. Most of the novel is written in the third person, except for Brian’s perspective. His side story and own dilemmas, told in the first person, offer both interesting diversions from and connections to Veronica’s survival.
Waters not only causes hearts to race, but brains to ponder the possibilities of ghosts. (Supernatural thriller. 12 & up)