30 August 2011

Review and Giveaway: Dark Souls by Paula Morris

Just minutes after sixteen-year-old Miranda lost her best friend, Jenna, in a car accident, she saw her friend disappearing into a cornfield. But no matter how many times Miranda shouted her name, Jenna didn't turn around or come back. The paramedics on the scene of the accident calmed Miranda down, telling her she was in shock. In the following months, however, Miranda starts to see and hear things others can't. Has she gone crazy or can she really see ghosts?

A half a year later, when her family visits York, England--the "most haunted place on earth" (p. 15)--Miranda isn't sure what to expect, so meeting the mysterious Nick Fullerton comes as a pleasant surprise. Nick can see ghosts too, and Miranda is relieved to have someone with whom she can share her secret. But is Nick who he says he is, and more important, can Miranda trust him?

Paula Morris's Dark Souls is a little bit ghost story, a little bit romance, a little bit mystery, and little bit history. The novel is geared to a young adult audience and looks at families and grieving against the backdrop of the city of York and its long and sometimes violent history. Miranda explores the city using a book called Tales of Old York as her guide--not only to the historic sites but also to the ghosts. As she meets both living and dead, she has to decide what is expected of her and who she can believe.

I don't want to say more because I'm afraid of telegraphing the book's ending. Let me assure you that there are are just enough clues to make the novel's conclusion satisfying but not so many that you'll likely figure it out too quickly. Morris has nicely woven fact and fiction to make Dark Souls a great read for fall and the Halloween season.

The giveaway: I'm excited to be able to host a giveaway of Paula Morris's Dark Souls. Thanks to the publishers, I have two copies of the novel to giveaway, and the only requirement is that the two winners each have a U.S. mailing address. To enter, just fill out the following form. I'll pick the two winners on September 12. Good luck! This is a novel you don't want to miss.

To learn more about Paula Morris, check out the This Is Teen Facebook page, where she will featured; you can also follow her on Twitter.

Paula Morris is the author of Ruined, and has published several novels for adults in her native New Zealand. She has lived in a number of cities around the world, including York, England. She now lives in Glasgow, Scotland, and teaches creative writing at the University of Stirling. Visit her online at www.paula-morris.com.

Dark Souls at Powell's
Dark Souls at Book Depository
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Published by Point, 2011
ISBN-13: 9780545251327
Source: Review (see review policy)
Rating: B-
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


Zibilee 8/30/11, 11:08 AM  

After just reading Kathy's review, I got the impression that this was a book for middle grade readers, and not strictly for older teens. I may have to revise my opinion on this one and check out more information about it now. If it's targeted toward an older age group, it might be something for my kids this Halloween.

bermudaonion 8/30/11, 11:33 AM  

It does sound like you enjoyed this one more than I did. It would be a great read for the Halloween season.

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) 8/30/11, 2:15 PM  

I'm not usually a Halloween person but I feel like I may be in the mood for something a bit spooky and chilly after this year's heat!

Jenners 8/30/11, 8:28 PM  

Sounds like a good candidate for a RIP read!

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog 8/31/11, 1:37 PM  

Thank you for the great contest! i loved 'ruined'!

mamabunny13 9/2/11, 1:09 AM  

This sounds like a great book. I would love to read it.

latishajean 9/4/11, 12:09 AM  

this sounds really good would love to read thank you for the great giveaway!

Michelle 9/5/11, 4:05 PM  

I have this one as well. I've got to get to it as it seems like it might be an interesting read for the upcoming spooky holiday season.

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