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by K.D. McEntire

Age Range: 12 - 17

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-61614-539-2
Publisher: Pyr/Prometheus Books

Wendy struggles to hold her personal life together while performing the Lightbringer duties of reaping souls of the dead.

In McEntire's debut, ghosts wander the land in between living and a true afterlife, a land called the Never. Wendy, as a Lightbringer, can see and interact with the Never. Piotr is one of the ghosts of the Never, an eternal teenager who, as a Rider, protects the ghosts of children: When children die with too much life ahead of them, their ghosts become batteries for cannibalistic adult ghosts called Walkers. Wendy discovers that the Never is far more dangerous than she imagined when her mother's soul goes missing after an accident. Meanwhile, Piotr finds protecting his group of children, the Lost, increasingly difficult, as Walkers have begun organizing under the power of a mysterious creature, the White Lady. When Wendy and Piotr team up to help each other with the strange happenings of the Never, the White Lady begins haunting Wendy's dreams. The prose is bloated and initially disorienting, with dialogue aiming to reflect the time periods of the ghosts coming off instead as stilted. The narrative is strongest when it recalls Wendy's familial obligations—holding her siblings and household together in the place of her comatose mother—and allows them to conflict with her job and growing affection for Piotr. Superficial references to Peter Pan fail to resonate meaningfully, leaving them effectively nothing more than a naming device.

Creative ideas outpace the writing quality. (Paranormal romance. 12-17)