Deception (Haunting Emma #1)
September 5th 2011 (UK)
When Emma Vaile’s parents go missing while away on a mysterious business trip, she’s left all alone in her creepy old house. But her brother’s very cute best friend, Bennett Stern—Emma’s knight in J. Crew armor—arrives unexpectedly to whisk her away to New England. There, Emma settles into his family’s museum-like mansion and enrolls at an old-fashioned private school. She quickly finds friends in the popular legacy crowd at Thatcher and spends her free time crushing on Bennett. But the eerie visions she’s been hiding from everyone have gotten worse. Emma has memories of Thatcher that she can’t explain—it’s as if she’s returning home to a place she’s never been. Finally, Emma confides in Bennett and learns she is a ghostkeeper, a person who can communicate with ghosts. Bennett brought Emma to Thatcher to protect her, but now he needs her help tracking an other-worldly murderer.
A rich New England setting filled with mystery, tradition, and prep-school intrigue make Deception the perfect choice for fans of series like Kate Brian’s Private, as well as all those paranormal fans. The shocking ending will leave readers desperate for book two.
There is no doubt that I seriously enjoyed reading Deception. It was fast-paced, exciting, ghosty (but not creepy) and just generally awesome. But while I really loved the story, and a lot of the side characters, I didn't really click with Emma that much. Not that I didn't like her, it's just I've seen sort of similar types around and I'm a but tired, is all. But I really did like, just not as much as I wanted to, I guess.
I was, however, really interested by this idea of Ghostkeepers, and that there were loads of different abilities you could have if you were a ghostkeeper, and I really want to know more about the Knell and what they're all about, but what annoyed me was that Emma had ALL the abilities. Is that she's this normal kid that doesn't really think much of herself, and then finds out she's a hot guy magnet, the best at all the things, and she's kind of unrelatable for that. And while I did like her sarcasm (because I always like sarcasm... Lowest from of wit my rear end! ;p) and I did like her as person, it's just this whole stupidly plain but actually really pretty and sexy and the best kind of character that irritates me.
And Bennett... While I did love Bennett by default of him being gorgeous and me being a slightly idealistic teenage girl, I'm kind of over the broody guy. I know I've said this before, but I like people who smile occasionally and don't take everything stupidly seriously. Down with the smouldering broody fellow in the corner I say! Unless they're realllllly pretty.... But no, he was cool I guess, just nothing exceptional. And I did like his and Emma's relationship. I mean, I love following all these paranormal book couples... They should do a magazine on them on something. I would buy it. Because I need a life... *sighs*
But I did like the story a lot. The characters may have been a but atypical (sorry if it sounds like I'm being overly critical, but you get me, right?) but the plot kept me hooked. I really wanted to see how Emma would face off with Neos, and the final scene between them, at the pond? I would most certainly NEVER want to be in a situation like that. And I did like a lot of the side characters too, namely the ghosts. Celeste, Anatole and Nicholas were all adorable and sweet and perhaps slightly dead. And Martha! She was lovely! And not a ghost...
Deception is a great book which, while I may not have connected with the characters much, I greatly enjoyed and I can't wait to read the next book, Betrayal!