Saturday, November 30, 2013

Review: Second Verse by Jennifer Walkup

Second Verse
by Jennifer Walkup
Release Date: October 1st, 2013
2013 Luminis Books
Softcover Edition; 288 Pages
ISBN: 978-1935462866
ASIN: B00FN78A48
Genre: Fiction / Supernatural
Source: Review copy from Novel Publicity Tours

3.5 Stars

My Thoughts
Second Verse was an interesting take on the theory of reincarnation and second lives. (You can check out more about the story further down.) It definitely had an interesting premise and I thought the author's way of writing was quite captivating, but truthfully, I wasn't quite sold on the whole idea throughout the novel.

What I really liked:  Definitely the setting as you can't get a whole lot creepier by staging the scene in a house where a really horrible murder took place almost a century ago, with a creepy barn, and lots of woods to play around in.  Furthermore, you've got a private school that seems to totally be into Halloween by setting up their own mock murders and including the whole school and you definitely have set the stage for something really bad to happen.  It was almost too good to be true.  Ms. Walkup's writing style was another big bonus as I found myself drawn into the story despite myself and it was quite compelling.  She certainly has a lot of interesting material with which to play. I also liked the link between the past and the present as I enjoy things like that, and was looking forward to their research in order to learn more about the past.  This is always something that interests me, and I always love the paths that characters take in order to discover the links to the past. 

What sort of fell flat: While I did enjoy the story and thought it was quite compelling, there were some things that did bother me towards the end.  And these might be more personal preferences rather than real weaknesses in the plot lines, but for me they were enough to give it the rating I did.  The twist in the end was rather sudden yes, but looking back into the novel, there was little indication of such a twist and while I like to be surprised, I also like my surprises to be fact-based and not be ones that seem to be drawn out of the blue, and frankly, this one bothered me.  And while I like the reincarnation bit, I wasn't totally sold on it in this novel.  Wouldn't it be great if the main characters, Vaughn and Lange could solve an actual crime using their own merits, even if reincarnation is involved, but leave the reincarnation as a side feature, rather than the main event?  We never really found out exactly what happened 80 years ago and this really bothered me.  Again, this may be more of a personal thing and is definitely not a criticism of Ms. Walkup's style as the story was interesting in its way.  For me, I just found myself distanced from the characters towards the end and that disappointed me somewhat.

Second Verse was an interesting debut novel about reincarnation and what happens to souls when they find each other again.  I found the writing very compelling, but thought it fell a little flat with regards to character and plot development, although it was never boring.  That being said, I would definitely read another novel by this author as it did have that chill and atmosphere that is needed in such a story, and it is worth reading just for that alone.  Although I did have some issues with this novel, it was a fun read, and I definitely recommend it for those who might not be ready for more serious horror reading as of yet.

About the Book - About the Author - Prizes!!!

Welcome to another exciting publishing house spotlight tour from Novel Publicity. Join us as two new titles from Luminis Books--we're calling them the Luminis Dyad--tour the blogosphere in a way that just can't be ignored. And, hey, we've got prizes!

About the prizes: Who doesn't love prizes? You could win either of two $25 Amazon gift cards, an autographed copy of Second Verse by Jennifer Walkup, or an autographed copy of its tour mate, The Field by Tracy Richardson. Here's what you need to do...

  • Enter the Rafflecopter contest

  • Leave a comment on my blog

  • That's it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win--the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Luminis Duo tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

    About the book: Can love last more than a lifetime? Can Murder? Bad things come in threes. In Shady Springs, that includes murder.

    Lange Crawford’s move to Shady Springs, Pennsylvania, lands her a group of awesome friends, a major crush on songwriter Vaughn, and life in a haunted, 200-year-old farmhouse. It also brings The Hunt: an infamous murder mystery festival where students solve a fake, gruesome murder scheme during the week of Halloween. Well, supposedly fake.

    Weeks before The Hunt, Lange and her friends hold a séance in the farmhouse’s eerie barn. When a voice rushes through, whispering haunting words that only she and Vaughn can hear, Lange realizes it's begging for help. The mysterious voice leads Lange and Vaughn to uncover letters and photos left behind by a murdered girl, Ginny, and they become obsessed with her story and the horrifying threats that led to her murder.

    But someone doesn’t like their snooping, and Lange and Vaughn begin receiving the same threats that Ginny once did. The mysterious words from the barn become crucial to figuring out Ginny's past and discovering how their own past is connected to hers. They must work fast to uncover the truth or risk finding out if history really does repeat itself.

    Pick up your copy of this Young Adult/ Paranormal/ Thriller l through Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Barnes & Noble.

    About the author: When Jennifer Walkup isn’t writing or reading, she’s spending time with her husband and young sons, listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers, and coming up with costume ideas for Halloween. She’s obsessed with good coffee and new recipes and likes broccoli on her pizza, flowers in her hair, flip-flops on her feet, and the number 13. A member of SCBWI, Jennifer also serves as fiction editor for The Meadowland Review and teaches creative writing at The Writers Circle. Second Verse is her first novel. Connect with Jennifer on her websiteblogFacebookTwitter, or GoodReads.

    Luminis Books was launched in January, 2010 by husband and wife team Tracy Richardson and Chris Katsaropoulos with a mission to publish thought-provoking literary fiction for children and adults. We publish what we love: Meaningful Books That Entertain. Our award-winning books engage and inform readers and explore a wide range of topics from love and relationships, teen sexual assault and homelessness to string theory, consciousness, and the Universal Energy Field. Luminis Books is a proudly independent publisher located in Carmel, IN. Learn more at

    Learn more about Second Verse's tour mate HERE.