Author: Paula Morris
Release Date: August 1, 2011 (hardcover)
Source: Copy provided by publisher
Overall: 3.5 Stars
Welcome to York, England.Mist lingers in the streets.Narrow buildings cast long shadows.This is the most haunted city in the world. . . .
Miranda Tennant arrives in York with a terrible, tragic secret. She is eager to lose herself amid the quaint cobblestones, hoping she won’t run into the countless ghosts who supposedly roam the city. . . .Then she meets Nick, an intense, dark-eyed boy who knows all of York’s hidden places and histories. Miranda wonders if Nick is falling for her, but she is distracted by another boy — one even more handsome and mysterious than Nick. He lives in the house across from Miranda and seems desperate to send her some sort of message. Could this boy be one of York’s haunted souls?Soon, Miranda realizes that something dangerous — and deadly — is being planned. And she may have to face the darkest part of herself in order to unravel the mystery — and find redemption.
Dark Souls should be a quick read if you're intrigued by a novel that combines an old-fashioned setting inhabited by haunting ghosts! Ever since surviving a car accident which claimed the life of her best friend, Miranda has been seeing ghosts... and when she arrives in York with her family for vacation, she can't escape from them any longer. With simple storytelling, Paula Morris has written a ghost story filled with mystery but still carries a lot of heart.
While I don't usually have any difficulties with third person narration, I found myself wishing that Dark Souls had been written in first person. I felt like we were just brushing the surface of the characters when we could have been digging much more deeper. It made it harder for me to connect with the characters, in this case. The plot summary may have played up the romance, but I didn't really see the attraction between Miranda and Nick as much as I would have liked. His warm and cold act was not working for me... and Miranda deserved some more attention!
Where I found Dark Souls possibly lacking in developing characters, the novel made up for it with its rich descriptions of historic York, England! The setting is easily visualized and helps set a mysterious atmosphere for the events to take place. While I didn't have too much difficulty predicting what would happen by the end, I still enjoyed reading the novel to see how conflicts would be resolved as we reached the final outcome. There were still some little twists and turns which came as a surprise, and it certainly helped build up the suspense some more!
Thanks so much to Scholastic Canada for providing this review copy!