Aura was born after the shift, which means she can see and communicate with ghosts. Not really her favorite thing, until an accident kills her boyfriend Logan. On the one hand she’s grateful that he’s not completely lost to her, but on the other hand, it does make it hard to move on. And the new guy in town – Zachary – really wishes she would move on.
I am always fascinated with the sorts of afterlife concepts authors can come up with, and Smith-Ready really has some fun ones. We learn right off the bat that in Aura’s world, ghosts take the form that they inhabited during their happiest moment on earth (that prevents murder victims from looking chopped up and cancer victims from looking wasted away). When I explained this to a friend of mine, she asked, “But what if their happiest moment was when they were a baby?” That one stumped me, although I do have to say if you’re happiest moment came as a baby…well, that’s just sad.
In any case, there are many creative world-building elements to go along with the pretty unique love triangle of Post-Shifter Aura, Dead Logan and Pre-Shifter Zachary. It’s also a credit to Smith-Ready that she kept me on my toes plotwise – you could never be sure what would happen next. So far no real villains have emerged, but you do get the sense that the government is getting stricter and less tolerant with their policy towards ghosts – mainly because some ghosts can turn into “shades” – giving them a dark power that the living are terrified of.
This is the first book in a planned series, but fortunately you do get some measure of closure. I’m excited to read the second novel SHIFT when it releases May 2011. SHADE is now available in hardcover. Find out more about it at the author’s website.