I’m pretty used to the first person narrative and some of my favourite series are from the first person perspective, so while reading this book I couldn’t help comparing it to them.
What I found frustrating was that Casper (Allegra’s guardian angel and love interest), seemed to have an interesting back story. We’re told a little bit but not much, and I really wanted to know more about him and his life as a mortal. This is where I thought the first person perspective failed.
Casper held so much promise. We are told that he can’t help Allegra in any way, or his chance to get into heaven goes back a few steps. He appears at different times and seems to use convenient loopholes, but only when Allegra’s in danger due to her blind stupidity. It’s annoying and gets very boring, especially when it’s topped with their forbidden love.
Nell gives us hints at the attraction between the two, but the pages fail to sizzle with any sexual chemistry. There are some limp looks and gentle brushes, but it’s nothing that makes you want to see the two characters get together.
The biggest issue for me, however, was how underdeveloped the supporting characters were. Duncan, Allegra’s secondary love interest and the person who hires her to investigate the paranormal goings on, was a pretty two dimensional character, whose sole purpose seemed to be to brood over Allegra and growl at Casper. He appeared to be the stereotypical Scottish inn-keeper and I thought he read like an extra from ‘Monarch of the Glen’.
Allegra didn’t have enough gumption for me to root for her as the heroine of the story. There was also no explanation on how she came into this line of work, we only learn that it’s through a “tingle” in her big toe that she can sense the paranormal.
A review I’d read noted that for a paranormal investigator she’s not too bright and it’s only down to sheer dumb luck that she solves the case, and I have to agree. I’m not sure if this is due to the actual character or the author’s writing.
For a mystery there are very few red herrings or plot twists and I could pretty much guess who the villain was, even if I didn’t know why the residents were turning up dead.
The only saving grace which made the story slightly interesting was the introduction to Selkies and the whole history behind them. I really liked this part and thought that it was a change from the usual shapeshifters.
The author could have done so much more with a very interesting premise. I’m not sure if it would have been more enjoyable if it were in the third person, or maybe from two points of view. The book felt as if it were the second in a series as there appeared to be a lot of back-story missing, which detracted from enjoyment of the book.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
- Allegra Fairweather
- South of Salem
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