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[Book Review] Mary Hades By Sarah Dalton & Aroma Crafts Summer’s Love Coffee Blend

Mary Hades By Sarah DaltonTitle: Mary Hades
Series/Universe: Mary Hades, Book One
Author: Sarah Dalton
Publisher: Sarah Dalton
Publication date: April 30th 2014
Page Count: 286 pages
Age Rating: YA & Up (mild blood, violence, death, and mentions of murder)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Received a copy to review
Publisher’s page: Mary Hades

Not many seventeen year old girls have a best friend who’s a ghost, but then Mary Hades isn’t your average teenager.

Scarred physically and mentally from a fire, her parents decide a holiday to an idyllic village in North Yorkshire will help her recover. Nestled in the middle of five moors, Mary expects to have a boring week stuck in a caravan with her parents. Little does she know, evil lurks in the campsite…

Seth Lockwood—a local fairground worker with a dark secret—might be the key to uncovering the murky history that has blighted Nettleby. But Mary is drawn to him in a way that has her questioning her judgement.

Helped by her dead best friend and a quirky gay Goth couple, Mary must stop the unusual deaths occurring in Nettleby. But can she prevent her heart from being broken?

The first in a series of dark YA novels, Mary Hades follows on from the bestselling Kindle Single ‘My Daylight Monsters’. A spine-tingling tale with romance, readers will be shocked and entertained in equal measure.

My Review

Mary Hades can see dead people. The seventeen-year-old is not only privy to ghosts, she’s also visited by “Things” – creatures with skulls visible through their flesh, who warn her of impending death and doom.  These abilities led to her being hospitalized in a psychiatric unit, where tragic events resulted in the death of her best friend Lacey (you can read about all this unfolding in the prequel  My Daylight Monters).

Mary Hades, book one of the Mary Hades series, takes place after My Daylight Monsters with Mary dealing with the after effects – especially the fact that her best friend is now a ghost. Mary’s parents take her to a remote camping site in the middle of the moors for a summer vacation, thinking that a change of scenery and people might be good for her. And it is – until people start dying (which is pretty much right away). Poor Mary, it seems death follows her everywhere.

This book had romance, a mystery, and good friends – everything I look for in a good summer read. I loved the characters, Lacey especially as she tries to deal with the fact that she’s dead and what to do with her new station in “life”.  The romance between Mary and Seth felt realistic, which I appreciated as too many books nowadays have  “I’ve seen you once and I just know we’re gonna be soulmates forever” syndrome, a trap this Mary Hades neatly avoids. There are a few deaths in this, including those of minors, but the descriptions aren’t too graphic. There’s some blood in this, but no gore, the focus mainly being on the mystery aspects.

If there was one downside to this book, it was that there were some assumptions made and a few leaps in logic that I just didn’t follow. These took me out of the unfolding story and had me scratching my head and in some cases flipping back the pages to see if I missed something. However, these occurrences were few and far between and didn’t hinder my overall enjoyment of the book.

I see a lot of potential in this series and with at least two planned sequels, a prequel, and two short stories, I don’t think that potential will go untapped. This is definitely a series I plan to follow and I can’t wait to see more of Mary and Lacey and their ghost hunting adventures.

Solving a mystery and stopping a murdering ghost doesn’t leave much room for a summer romance, but Mary and Seth use the little time they have and make it count ;).  In honor of their sweet summer love I recommend Aroma Crafts Summer’s Love Coffee Blend – it’s summery and sweet with hints of chestnuts, raisins, berries, and sweet summer peach.

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