What Gifts She Carried by Lindsey R. Loucks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The dead just won't stay dead in Krapper, Kansas. Book Two of Lindsey R. Loucks's young adult paranormal series takes us straight back to the graveyard with a story that will leave you on the edge of your seat and begging for more.
The story opens with young Leigh Baxter washing off the muck from the ending of the last story. She's managed to avoid being buried alive and turned into an undead sorceress, thanks to her own determination, her best friend Jo and two guys she kinda loves (Callum & Tram). They are all catching their breaths, relieved that their small-town nightmare is finally over.
But it's not. Before poor Leigh can even settle down to sleep, knowing that she, her dad, and little sister are safe, something dead spies on them. It knows exactly what Leigh and her sister are. That secret is now a magnet, drawing the followers of evil super-sorceress Gretchen right to Leigh to finish what they started.
Instead of running from trouble and denying her powers, I admired Leigh for deciding to explore exactly what she can do. Tram (a powerful magical being himself) once again proved himself the gallant teenage knight I thought he was and agreed to train her in using one aspect of her magic ability. The rest she had to discover through a whole series of dangerous happenings, but luckily Leigh wasn't alone. The whole cast of characters, including some good sorceress teachers, came to her aid once again to make this a truly exciting sequel.
The only thing I stumbled upon in the story was the amount of magical information that sometimes proved more confusing than anything. Lots of terminology is tossed about involving who possesses certain powers. I found myself having to go back and read in places where I really just wanted to push forward with the mounting action. There's also the ending cliffhanger and knowing the third book isn't due out until....? Yeah, so without giving anything away, be prepared to scream "What? No! It can't end there!".
If you're like me, you might be tempted to pester the author to hurry up and finish the last book. However, if it turns out to be as nail-biting as the first two, the wait might well be worth it. If you're into the young adult paranormal fiction genre, do check out this series. These are not standalone books, so you'll want to start with The Grave Winner before you jump into What Gifts She Carried. You'll be glad you did.
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