Thursday, September 24, 2009

Review: The Awakening by Marley Gibson

Ghost Huntress, Book One

Tags: MG, YA, paranormal, ghosts

Rating: 2.5 out of 5


When Kendall Moorehead’s family moves from Chicago to the sleepy town of Radisson, Georgia, she experiences more than just cultural shock. The quietness of the historical Southern town awakens Kendall’s psychic abilities, and soon she’s seeing, hearing, and feeling ghosts all around her.

With the help of some odd friends, Kendall begins to understand her newfound abilities. She forms a ghost-hunting team to deal with the many spirits of Radisson…especially the ones that intend to cause her and her family some harm…


THE AWAKENING begins a MG/YA paranormal series that promises to be pure entertainment, with plenty of research and borderline irritating characters that will appeal to younger lovers of paranormal lit.

While no great work of literature, GHOST HUNTRESS: THE AWAKENING is wonderfully well researched; Marley Gibson displays an impressive range of knowledge about the history and technology of ghost-hunting that lends much-needed authenticity to this highly speculative genre. The details with which Kendall and her friends’ adventures are described are fantastic and thorough. You could almost use this book as a guide to ghost-hunting, if you are so inclined.

On the other hand, the characters are often over-hyper and a bit ridiculous, with vocabulary and diction that would probably appeal to middle school readers and no one else. Kendall and her friends Celia and Taylor often react to situations in an unappealingly over-the-top way. That being said, once you get over their silliness, Gibson still manages to shape them into believable, and ultimately likable, characters.

GHOST HUNTRESS: THE AWAKENING is nothing to call home about, but it’s perfectly fitting for its genre and intentions: a fun paranormal romp for younger teens and/or readers looking for easy escapism. This is a good series to recommend to that younger sibling or babysitting charge who expresses interest in but is certainly not quite old enough for books like Twilight.

Similar Authors
P.C. and Kristin Cast
Richelle Mead
Gillian Shields

Writing: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
Plot: 3/5

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / May 2009

Thank you, Sarah, for providing me with a copy for review!


  1. Hm, it's good to know that the author thoroughly researched the topic... I hate when the basis of books are weak and not very believable :/

    I luff the way you write :D

  2. Interesting review. I quite like the premise, but it sounds like I'd be better off giving this to my niece who is at the perfect age for MG books.

  3. It's actually quite nice to know there's something out there for girls too young for Twilight.

  4. I was gonna say the same thing Sheila :D

  5. Great review - I took this book on holiday with me and I loved the premise and all the ghost hunting stuff, but I couldn't seem to get into the actual story/characters at all. I never did finish it, and your review really sums up how I felt.

  6. I wonder if my cousins would like this one. It is hard to tell what's age appropriate when it varies so much depending on the kid.

  7. I recently won this book and had been so excited about reading it. Now I'm not quite so sure. I tend to be more of a character oriented person. That, in my opinion is one of the hugest factors in a book, the characters. We will see though. Thanks for the honest review.


  8. I actually really enjoyed this and I'm not middle grade. Guess, it's just personal taste! :)

  9. I happen to have the second book of the series but I've not read this one yet. Hopefully The Guidance is better. I'm not really into ghost hunting though.


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