Friday, March 2, 2012

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Title: Desires of the Dead
Author: Kimberly Derting (her website)
Release Date:

Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

*WARNING! Spoiler Alert! If you have not read The Body Finder (book 1), do not continue. There are major spoilers from book 1 because this is a review of book 2 of the series. (I won't spoil any of book 2, though) ...continue at your own have been warned :) 


I'll start off by saying I wish I'd reviewed the first book along with this one. It was great. There's so much that I want to say about it! Maybe one day I'll reread it and review it for you guys.
Now, Desires of the Dead was, without a doubt, just as great as the first one. The suspense of not knowing who the killer is. The surprise when you're wrong and the "Ah-HA!" moment when you are right. The way the author profiles the characters in a way that makes you wonder if you should really trust them. What I thought was brilliant about this book was the way the author did these sections where the chapter was in italics and it was set in a different character's head. She never revealed the names of the person who those chapters were supposed to revolve around, the most the reader gets are some clues. Basically could have been anyone's head that it was set in. Granted, she used that particular tactic better in The Body Finder, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a brilliant way to get the reader thinking about the other characters in a different way.
This author brought originality to a plot that consists of a body finder (no pun intended....well, maybe a little). I'm referring to the echo's. The way they pull in Violet with out her being able to control it and how the imprints of murder attach themselves to the killer and body in a unique form. Sent. Sound. Color. It always amazes me, the depth of creativity that lies in an authors mind.
Speaking of body finders and compelling echos...I'll start off with one of the most interesting aspects of this book: Violet.
As we discovered in book one of the series, Violet has a knack for finding bodies. Dead bodies that is. This got her in some serious trouble with two serial killers. The bodies send a signal to her called an echo and when they call, it's difficult for her not to answer. She is probably the only girl you will meet with a gravyard of dead animals in her back yard. Her supernatural traits has made Violet strong. She doesn't fear much and when she does, it isn't the imaginary monsters in the closet. Her monsters are real. Many would expect her to be sort of drawn into herself, blocking out the world, but she is not. Her friends are proof that she's easily liked (with few exceptions) because of her personality. There are people that help her cope with her ability and they are what keep her from drawing in. Her family and her best friend are those few who know what she can do.
Speaking of her best friend... Jay. Simple name but not that simple of a guy. He loves Violet with his life which is seriously adorable considering how long they've known each other. According to Violet, he's something to look at. Girls fawn over him, but he could care less when his girlfriends is standing with him. Yes, that girl is Violet. He's the only person, outside of her family, that knows of her body finding skills. The thing that makes him about a million times more awesome is the way he accepts what she does and does anything he can to help her.
Violet has a few other friends (Jules, Claire and Chelsea) but the one I'm going to talk briefly about is Chelsea. She has absolutely  no filter between her thoughts and mouth. She says what she thinks and couldn't careless what others thought. Until Mike comes along...
He's Jay's new "boyfriend", as Violet likes to say, and he has a big impact on Chelsea . I won't go into too much detail because of later events though.
Speaking of later events, that brings me to Rafe. You can easily describe him in a few words: dark, mysterious, and silent. Near the end, there's more to him, though.Something really interesting about Rafe is the fact that he works for an FBI agent named Sarah.
Here is Sarah in a few brief sentences: Sarah discovered something special about Violet and now she wants to know what that something is. She believes that Violet's "something" could be useful. Persistent is an understatement when it comes to that particular character.
I think I'll cut off descriptions there, so you all can read about them yourselves. It's more fun that way.
This book had a bit of an odd ending. It wasn't bad but it had sort of a what-the-heck-just-happened effect on me. I'm not talking about the very end, just the part in the woods for those of you who have read the book. Anyway, it was great and answered nearly all the questions a reader could have. The very end of the ending was what left an opening for the next installment to the series. It makes you wonder what will happen with Violet and the FBI, now.
I will end this review by saying that Desires of the Dead, while completely awesome, didn't completely triumph the first book. Either way, I believe that it still receives the rating of an A because of it's amazing originality and perfect amount of suspense. YA readers will love the compelling echo of the story line that seems to sit in your brain as you read it and even after you have finished. Recommended for those of you who like books with psycological twists, murder cases,  and, of course, those of you who have read The Body Finder. I honestly can not wait for the next installment in the series.

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