Monday, October 9, 2023

Review: Ghost Tamer by Meredith R. Lyons

by Meredith R. Lyons
Release Date: September 19, 2023
2023 CamCat Books
Kindle Edition; 336 Pages
ISBN: 978-0744302790
Audiobook: B0CBD43GZK
Genre: Fiction / Horror / Paranormal / Ghost
Source: Review copy from publisher
3 / 5 Stars
Aspiring comedian Raely is the sole survivor of a disastrous train wreck. While faced with the intense grief of losing her best friend, she realizes that someone is following her―and has been following her all her life. Trouble is, no one else can see him. For a ghostly tag-along, Casper’s not so bad. He might even be the partner Raely needs to fight the evil spirit hell-bent on destroying her. Raely and her friend must learn why this demonic spirit is haunting Raely and how she can stop him before he destroys her life―and her soul. Which, much to her chagrin, means she needs the help of a psychic (although she’s sure they are all charlatans) and must rid herself of the pesky ghost hunter who’s interested in exploiting her new abilities. 
My Thoughts
Ghost Tamer follows a struggling comedian who is dealing with the biggest tragedy of her life after being involved in a deadly train accident.  Grieving, healing from her injuries, she realizes that she is being followed, but not necessarily by someone or something that is living.  This story begins literally with a bang, and doesn't let go until the end. I enjoyed it quite a bit, thought the character development was fine, and was entertained by the witty dialogue and fast-paced story line.
While I did enjoy the story, and thought the plot moved along quickly, it was not quite as dark of a story as I thought it would be.  Despite the train wreck at the beginning, and the death of her best friend, this didn't delve as much into the emotional trauma of that loss as I was expecting and ended up much more on the lighter side of horror, almost to the point of being somewhat cheesy.  There were quite a bit of light, humourous moments thrown into the plot, especially between Raely and her ghost, and a lot of the dialogue was witty, but some of the secondary characters didn't necessarily ring true. The whole ghost hunter thing in which Raely got involved seemed out of sync with what was happening and although I understand the author was trying to show how conniving the world could be, it just didn't work for me, especially the aggression.  And honestly, the love interest? Where did that suddenly come from?
I did enjoy Raely's journey as she accepted the fact she could see ghosts and had one stuck to her all the time. Going through the journey with her and realizing exactly who the ghost was was interesting, and something I didn't actually see coming so I found that revelation thought-provoking.  I also found it incredibly sad, the secrets that a family can keep from one another.  The journey did lead Raely and her ghost through some interesting scenarios and I found them entertaining. Casper, the name she nicknames her ghost, was one of my favourite characters, and I am glad the author gave him a chance to develop and grow along with Raely as they discovered how they were attached to each other.  I did wish Raely had been developed a bit more though as she seemed quite childish at times and I had to remind myself she was actually a grown woman and not 16 years old. And for someone who was an aspiring comedian, I didn't really find her that funny, something for which I was waiting. I also think Lovonia was too mysterious and both Raely and Casper trusted her implicitly for no reason. Why would you trust someone you don't know, especially given the cryptic comments this person keeps giving you?
Ghost Tamer was not a bad debut; it had an interesting story line, was fast-paced, and was light-hearted. And I think that is wherein the problem lay as the themes were quite dark, but the author took a lighter approach to the story, and didn't really explore Raely's emotional state after the train crash. Some of the scenarios didn't quite fit into the story line, hoping the reader would just suspend belief and accept them. That being said, this author is quite talented, I enjoyed the overall story, and I look forward to reading more of her writing in the future.  And there were enough good things in this book that I do recommend you take a look.