Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Queen of the Dead (Ghost and the Goth Novels)

Queen of the Dead - Stacey Kade Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker.She only got sent back from the Great Beyond to Earth, but Alona Dare may as well have gone to Hell. Now she has to spend her summer working and helping out all those other ghosts that want to move on. At least it will be a little better with Will Killian, her friend-but-kinda-maybe-more and a ghost-talker. When another ghost-talker named Mina shows up and occupies Will's attention with information about other ghost-talkers and things he never knew about his dad, Alona isn't happy about her problems being neglected. After an unforgivable act, they both have some hard choices to make.One of my favorite things about the series is the writing. Alona and Will have their own voices and stories and these are what keep me moving through the books when I feel they get a little slow. I'm just dying to see what else they have to say and see how it will all turn out for them. This time around, they have their own plot lines and lives going on instead of being stuck to each other the entire time and these dual storylines ramped up the pacing. After the disaster that was the last book I read (or attempted to read, since I didn't finish it), Queen of the Dead was exactly what I needed.I still wanted to kick Alona sometimes for the selfish things she does, but she is strangely likable. She has never pretended to be a good girl and what you see is what you get. She's only (figuratively) human, after all; she makes mistakes, big mistakes, and she's a good, sympathetic, well-developed character. Even when she's at her worst, I can't help cheering her on. Then we have Will, the straight man to Alona who isn't afraid to call her out when she's being selfish or does something stupid. Thank goodness getting the girl didn't cost a great male character his spine. When Will got anxious to learn more about his dad and the Order from Mina, I felt it with him. In general, the book is just as good at characters as it is at the writing.The expansions Kade made to her fictional world with Mina and the Order of the Guardians was great. The information about them was a little too info-dumpy and messy for my tastes, but Will got to find out what he wanted to know and so did the reader. The whole thing with Lily and her family was... Okay, that got me crying. It did. Not anything too special because I could see it in many movies, but it still brought tears to my eyes. I love it when books get me crying like that.Kade caught my attention with The Ghost and the Goth and with Queen of the Dead, she's got me hook, line, and sinker. The final book of the trilogy won't be out until May 2012 or so, but I can wait. If it means there will be solid, satisfying resolution to a situation I'm not sure can end happily, I'm willing to wait. (But not if the wait is twelve years or longer like Strange Fate by LJ Smith, which I'm pretty sure is never coming out.)