Rating: 5 out of 5
Dark Whispers (Spirit Caller Series Book 2), by Krista D. Ball, starts up shortly after Spirits Rising ends. (It is also found in: Beginnings: first novels in multiple series by Krista D. Ball.) There have been two teen suicides in the town where Rachel acts as a grief counselor, and the school has employed her to help the kids through them. When she witnesses another attempted suicide, she starts to wonder what’s going on. Then there’s a mysterious man she’s spotted who seems to have taken an interest in her. But every time she looks into his eyes, she suffers horrid memories of her own lowest point, and then forgets she ever even saw him. Just to add to the mess, a woman shows up claiming to be Rachel’s birth mother, but her mind doesn’t seem to be all there–she’s trying to warn Rachel of something, but she can’t verbalize it. And Jeremy’s apartment flooded when his girlfriend Donna was supposed to be visiting, so they’re both staying in Rachel’s guest room.
The Jeremy-Donna-Rachel issue is interesting. Donna is, according to Rachel, a perfect goddess. Beautiful, talented, everything. Upon hearing that Rachel isn’t happy with her weight, Donna decides to fill her fridge with healthy food and take her jogging. I guess I just find that unreasonably pushy. Also, Donna’s starting to wonder whether Jeremy is stringing Rachel along as a sort-of backup girlfriend, and I’m not so sure she’s wrong about that. Which just makes me like Jeremy even less. I hope Rachel moves past her desperate crush on him at some point, because I just don’t like their (lack of) chemistry.
The mysterious man who keeps going after Rachel is really interesting. Obviously I can’t say much about him without spoiling anything. Dema, the very old spirit who took to Rachel in the previous book, is around even more now. She seems to be having a bit of fun with Rachel, but also has ulterior motives. I look forward to learning more about her.
The issues brought up regarding Rachel’s bio-mom definitely get interesting. I also found it fascinating to learn more about Rachel’s relationship with her adoptive mom. Next I hope we see more of her father.
Content note for suicidality, memories of suicide, attempted suicide… it’s a dark one, folks. But handled very well.