In the second entry of Matheson and Bice-Matheson’s (Wake Me Up Inside, 2012) series, ghosts, werewolves, spirit guides and angels both complicate and support Paige Maddison’s quest to discover the truth about her family’s supernatural heritage.
Just as her parents go from Canada to Italy for an indeterminate period of time, teenager Paige Maddison is dumped by her boyfriend from the previous volume. Alone in the guesthouse on her grandparents’ estate near the Canada-U.S. border, Paige moves into the main house with the old folks. Now, as school starts and autumn wears on, the weirdness of O’Brien Manor that had manifested over the summer in the appearances of ghosts is being augmented by new developments: the arrival of Allan Brewer, a werewolf gardener; Paige’s developing friendship with local psychics Peggy and Carole; the discovery of psychic powers in her own grandfather and mother; unexpected messages from First Nation spirit guide Grey Owl and the Archangel Michael; and literal messages from God. As matters progress, Paige and her family are threatened by the ghosts of a boy and his uncle abused in centuries past by O’Brien ancestors as well as an indeterminate evil force that has Paige in its sights. Throughout, Paige learns more about her heritage and powers as she develops her skills in leading departed souls into the Light. Paige comes across as a true teenage girl, with all the emotional drama and self-questioning that entails. In a pleasant change for this type of story, the budding romance between her and Allan is recognized by both of them as something that needs to be put on the back burner until danger is past; equal time is also given to Paige’s friendships with the teenage Carole, elderly Peggy and Allan’s young stepdaughter, Trixie. However, this novel ends with little resolved and feels more like the setup for the next installment.
An enjoyable supernatural teen adventure that lacks a satisfying resolution.