Dead Eye:Pennies For The Ferryman by Jim Bernheimer
This book has proven to be a pleasant surprise. I have tried and tried to come up with something witty and clever to introduce it, but I think the first statement says it all. I actually finished this book weeks ago, and have been pondering how to review it ever since.
Synopsis: Mike Ross has returned home from Iraq where he suffered both physical and emotional losses. He wants to get his life back together and find a direction by going back to school. In the meantime, Mike is trying to adjust to life with a new eye, provided by a donor, a donor who just happened to be a medium. Now that Mike is starting to be able to see through the donor's eye he sees ghosts, and is able to communicate with them. Some are good, and some are really really bad, bad enough that they want to possess him. Mike's adventures with the dead lead him to communicate not only with the recently dead, but those much older, some of whom have more to do with the world of the living then anyone ever knew.
What surprised me the most about this book was it's overall simplicity. There are paranormal happenings going on throughout the story, but they are not the whole story. It is the character interactions that takes center stage. Character development happens slowly over the course of the book, as the reader gets to know the leads and their motivations. Emotional motivation is kept to a minimum, while more common issues (i.e. money or lack there of) are what keep things moving.
The plot is simply as well. The course of actions taken by the characters to get to the end is not always straight forward, but it makes sense as Mike is trying to figure out what he can and can't do with his new gift. Bernheimer does not overlook the importance of a few good plot twists though. That being said, I had a problem with the ending feeling a little forced. The last few chapters do not complete the story, but set it up for sequels.
Finally, it was refreshing to read a ghost story with the lack of a real love story. Romantic love is not what pushes the characters or the plotline along. Too many paranormal novels rely on this emotion to keep the reader going. If done well, it can make a good read, if not, you get sentimental poop. Bernheimer avoids this trap. There is a potential for one, but the way he avoids it makes made this a better read for me.
What it all comes down to:
What I liked?
1. It was a really easy and enjoyable read. I found that when I stepped away from the book I wanted to get back to it to find out what was going to happen to Mike next, or what he might discover about his new gift.
2. Cheesey romance has nothing to do with this novel.
3. The reader learns along with Mike what he can and can't do. He doesn't just accept what he is and run with it. He tests it, as much as it tests him.
What I disliked?
1. I have to wait for a sequel.
2. There are a few places where I don't agree with the choice of how important plot information is given. They come across as clumsy writing.
3. I really don't have one.To Buy or Not To Buy, That is the Question: Buy. It is a clean simple read for a paranormal book. The reader is not overwhelmed with information all at once, making discoveries as Mike makes discoveries. Personally, after coming off a very complex read I really enjoyed this story.
Okay, so that is what I think, but remember folks it's just an opinion.