Spellbinder by Helen Stringer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
She sees dead people - and has very stay-at-home parents (apparently, ghosts can only haunt one place at a time). Belladonna's "talent" for seeing, and talking to, ghosts has its perks. It also has its minuses, like when all the ghosts disappear and it seems that she's the only one that can help save them.
Maybe "only one" is a bit misleading. She has help, Steve (still among the living, and the Palladin) and Elsie (dead since the early 1900s). Together the find the red door and a few important objects, call the Hunt and generally defeat Mrs. Ashe's plan.
The plan, such as it is, smelled a little too much like something from the Buffyverse. That's not a bad thing, per se, but it does mean that there's less a sense of "oh, wow, something new" than there might have been. Aunt Dierdre's obsession with the Hunt is never really explored, leading me to think it's either going to be a Major Plot Point in a sequel or that there was more, once, and it got edited out. In either case, I'm not thrilled. Yes, I'd read a sequel, but I hate it when there's such a heavy-handed set up.
Overall, I enjoyed this and I know my MS students will, too.
(free ARC provided by publisher)
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