4 out of 4 stars
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Pia Williams is a psychic medium who works with the TV series Debunking Reality. The team is called in to investigate a lighthouse cottage that is famous in the area for being haunted by the ghost of a man who died there thirty years earlier, but the family that bought the cottage with plans to renovate it want proof that that was just a myth. Unfortunately, during the investigation a local man is killed in the exact same way that the man in the myth was, and the police try to make Pia take the blame. But she knows. The true murderer was the spirit of a girl who experienced something gruesome in that home. The spirit is truly powerful, bordering on demonic possession level, and Pia struggles with her need to help the girl and her wariness of what might happen if she does.
Girl Unseen is the third novel in Athena Daniels’ Beyond the Grave series, although it can be read as a stand-alone novel. Daniels alludes to events that occur in the earlier books but gives the reader a good idea of what happened without directly spelling things out. I was in the mood for a spooky novel when I picked Girl Unseen up, and I got what I wished for and much more! Pia is a fierce and completely independent main character who commands respect. Daniels did a wonderful job creating her character, and she was truly the star of the show.
There were plenty of other great characters who also showed up in the beginning of the series. I feel like I would have liked them even more if I had read those books, but as it is I enjoyed the relationships the characters shared well enough. I also thought the pacing of the story was nice, with creepy moments happening when I least expected them. Although the plot was fairly linear in a way, there were plenty of surprises and a huge plot twist at the end! I read the entire novel in just a few days because it was so thrilling. It had me grabbing my Kindle as soon as my lunch break started and reading up until the last minute possible.
Grammatically there were just a handful of misses, most of which I only caught because they made me look twice. The quality of Daniels’ writing and the way she built up her novel -- its plot, the characters, the surprises -- made me a huge fan. I honestly don’t think I have anything bad to say about this novel. I only wish I had read the first two books in the series first, so I could have had the full experience.
I believe Girl Unseen deserves 4 out of 4 stars. I could go on and on when it comes to the things Daniels did well. I truly have nothing but praise for this witty, suspenseful, and downright spooky novel. I would highly recommend it to fans of suspense and horror who can take a good fright and who don’t mind a little bit of romance splashed in. There are some explicit scenes, so I wouldn’t recommend it to younger readers or anyone who can’t handle a good scare.
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