Rating: 4 out of 5
Krista D. Ball’s paranormal novella Spirits Rising (Spirit Caller Series Book 1) is an enjoyable start to a series. (It is also found in: Beginnings: first novels in multiple series by Krista D. Ball.) It took me a bit to get into it, but by the end I was hooked. Rachel, a grief counselor who used to work with the police department, sees ghosts. She can also feel them nearby. As far as she knows, that’s about the extent of her abilities. She worries over how her neighbors must see her, particularly since she’s had church tracts stuck on her door repeatedly with text about burning witches, and everyone seems to call her “sensitive.” At least her neighbor, old Mrs. Saunders, seems to like her! One day, Rachel gets a phone call from Manny, a kid at the local high school, who needs help. Since his father is one of the churchgoing folk who seem to hate Rachel so much, she calls Jeremy, a Mountie, to come along with her. When they find Manny’s basement full of drunk dead Vikings, things get strange!
The world-building was a little slow for me at first. It mostly consisted of Rachel floundering a bit. Also, one of the through-threads is the fact that Rachel is head-over-heels for Jeremy, who already has a girlfriend, and I didn’t really like that plot (I don’t find Jeremy as wonderful as Rachel does, and I don’t really feel the chemistry between them). Normally I’m all for the love plots, just not this time.
Rachel and her friends end up caught in the middle of a bit of a war between various dead people. Rachel has to figure out how to set them to rest, while they make war, destroy things, and in one case, come to visit her by name and have a chat.
What really made this book ultimately so interesting to me was Rachel’s interactions with the other people in her village. They aren’t at all as expected, and I really loved that.
[As a note: I have also read book two, Dark Whispers, and that one definitely gets a 5/5 from me. So if you’re at all on the fence, that might sway you toward giving the series a try.]