A high schooler learns more about her powers and her enemies in this YA paranormal-adventure sequel by Tansley (The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts, 2015).
Kat Preston is beginning her senior year at McTernan Academy and trying to come to terms with everything that happened in previous novel. After learning that she’s the heir of the Langley family, one of four magically-inclined clans tied together by history and blood oaths, she’s inundated with requests from ghosts trying to receive their reckoning. But these spirits aren’t the only ones who have set their sights on Kat; a being known as the Dark One, intent on shifting the balance between darkness and light, is determined to destroy her. In order to survive, she must train at Dumbarton, the Langleys’ ancestral home. There, she’s accompanied by Evan, a teacher’s assistant who’s both the Kingsley heir and Kat’s potential love interest. After a near-death experience, Kat learns that in order to truly protect themselves, she and Evan must travel back in time, possess the bodies of Ellie Harding and Percy Kingsley, and reclaim the Kingsley dagger, an heirloom with magical properties. But when Kat decides to stay in the past to prevent a death, she risks more than she expected and exposes a dark force that’s been preying on the magical families. Tansley’s second series installment maintains the intrigue and complexity of the first as it further develops the ancient ties among the four families. This additional context allows for the inclusion of new magical abilities and powerful items, which will increase readers’ interest in the world that Tansley has created. However, this worldbuilding comes at a cost: the central conceit of the book—traveling back in time to inhabit the bodies of ancestors—provides engaging new characters but also causes the story to lose focus. The evil forces that Kat fears in the present, for example, recede for dozens of pages, which makes readers lose sight of the main plot arc.
An enjoyable supernatural mystery that tries to do too many things at once.