Review Of The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting

Book Cover Of The Last Echo Kimberly DertingBook/Author: The Last Echo: A Body Finder Novel by Kimberly Derting
Part Of A Series: Yes – The Body Finder (Bk 1) & Desires Of The Dead (Bk 2)
Genre: YA mystery (supernatural elements but  it’s not paranormal)
Publisher/Year: HarperTeen – April 17, 2012
I received this from the publisher for an honest review & it did not sway my opinions on this book or series.
Buy It Here | Goodreads

 

The Last Echo, the third installment of The Body Finders series by Kimberly Derting was by far the CREEPIEST & most thrilling (and my personal fave) of the three books. In the first two books, Violet has used her ability to hear echos from the dead to solve murders on her own. But in this book, she’s working with a team – an underground government agency if you will – with special abilities similar to her own that we were introduced to at the end of Desires of the Dead. Working on these cases with this group seem to get her into even more trouble!

As in The Body Finder & Desires of the Dead, every few chapters we get inside the head of who Violet is tracking down. This time around was THE creepiest ever. I honestly kept shuddering while reading the killer’s perspective in this one because it was just psycho killer movie type creepy to me as he hunts down girls from a local college. I wasn’t frightened but I definitely got the heebie jeebies for sure by being in his delusional mind. Though I thought one of the big things that happened to Violet was a little predictable (but then again I’m always guessing what’s going to happen in movies and tv shows), I compulsively had to read to figure out how this killer would be caught. I felt like a crazed detective that can’t eat or sleep until the case is cracked.

I loved learning more about Rafe and Sara and the rest of the gang. Although, my biggest issue with how this storyline was done  is that I wish we could have learned more about them and their abilities but hopefully we’ll get to learn more in the next book. I thought this storyline was interesting and made for some ultra tense moments that were eluded to at the end of Desires of The Dead… although I was a little distraught at the lack of Jay in parts of the book. I LOVE ME SOME JAY! But the parts he was in were worth it..especially a sexy little scene.

Let me just say the ending – SHOCKING. Cannot wait for the next book to see how THAT all plays out!

The Final Thought: If you want thrilling mysteries that involve supernatural elements & a tinge of romance, this is a great YA series for that! These books are always very quick reads and always keep my attention. The Last Echo did NOT disappoint for me as it upped the thrills and creepiness factor. I flew through it and couldn’t put it down until the very end…which left me with my mouth open and anxiously awaiting book 4! My crime drama show loving heart can’t help but love this series because they are a cross between Criminal Minds, Medium & a dash of Veronica Mars for good measure.

You Might Also Like: Clarity by Kim Harrington

 Review On A Post-It

PS. I’m looking to find even more YA mysteries that are either contemporary or have some supernatural elements (I already know a ton of paranormal mysteries). Recommendations??

four-stars

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Title/Author: Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting (sequel to The Body Finder)
Publisher/Year: HarperTeen – February 15 2011
How I Got This Book: It was sent to me for review from the publisher.

Violet, outwardly your average high school girl, has a secret that only a few close to her know. She has the ability to hear the echos of the dead whose lives were wrongly cut short at the hands of others. Their killers, unbeknownst to them, carry their own unique imprint that matches that of their victims that are also sensed by Violet. These bodies seek her out so that they can be uncovered and be at peace. Her unique sense has remained relatively secret as she’s used it to help the dead before but an echo of a four year old boy threatens to make her secret known to others outside of her family and her boyfriend Jay and somebody else’s secret threatens Violet’s life.

Desires of the Dead, the mysterious and thrilling sequel to The Body Finder (my review), is the perfect book to read curled up next to your fire with the wind howling and the fog settling outside your window. I couldn’t have asked Mother Nature for a better setting in which to read this book–although I really could have done without the freezing rain.

As someone who is just delving into the supernatural/paranormal world in my reading, this series is an excellent start for me. These books are more of a mystery/thriller book with an underlying dash of the supernatural. This series is especially good for those who are reluctant to read anything out of the realistic YA genre. This series has reminded me of why I loved reading both Nancy Drew and anything by RL Stine or Christopher Pike as a young teen. I liked the suspense and feeling like I just couldn’t read fast enough to figure out the mystery and I liked being creeped out. Ok, I lie. I slept with the light on most nights.

The first book ends with all the loose ends tied up so there aren’t any lingering questions nagging at you when you begin this book and it was kind of nice to start fresh and get to see how Violet and Jay were doing since all the events of the first book. I was anxious to see what sort of shenanigans Violet would find herself in during this book and Derting didn’t disappoint. She, again, had some alternating chapters written from the perspective of the “bad guy” but I honestly didn’t find it as effective and as chilling as I did in the first book and that was something I really found to add to the creepy factor of the first book. Overall, I thought the first book was a little bit creepier and a little bit more action packed as it practically gave me a blister from flipping the pages all day. There were some parts in the middle that I just kept dying for something to happen that would shock me but luckily I was so interested in the FBI plot-line that I kept moving along.

I don’t know if it was just me, because I am notorious for figuring out the mysteries in movies or who the killer is in shows like CSI, but I figured out everything pretty quickly in this book. I’d love to know if it was just me or if it was a little predictable. I also was getting a little irked with Violet for finding herself in bad situations and not telling anybody where she was going. It was like watching a scary movie and you are just screaming, “DON’T GO UP THE STAIRS!” or “DON’T GO OUT THERE ALONE!” I don’t think many girls her age would keep wandering off and putting herself in compromising positions although I wonder if it could be attributed to the pull of these bodies that makes her do these things.

I am beyond thrilled to see what Derting does with the rest of this series. The ending of this book leaves some really interesting possibilities for Violet that I think could make for a really great series. I think it will be interesting to see how Violet progresses with using her “talent’ to help people. I hope to see more of Rafe as he was a really intriguing addition to this book and I want to know more about him. I thought Derting added some really interesting and compelling characters to this book and I thought she integrated them very well so I’m hoping that some of them reappear in subsequent books. I’ll be really interested to see how Derting continues on and, as always, wanting to find out how Violet and Jay hold up.

My final thought: While I think I personally enjoyed The Body Finder a bit more than this one, I’d highly recommend this series if you are looking for a good YA mystery with some supernatural elements that will be thrilling, a little creepy at times and has a good romantic plot. If you enjoy shows like The Ghost Whisperer or Medium, this would be an excellent series to get into. The series is fresh and unique and Desires of the Dead is an intriguing sequel that explored Violet’s gift and made her question how she should continue to use it in the future as well as added a new dimension to the old characters and fascinating new characters. Needless to say, I’d like to hijack Derting’s brain so I can know RIGHT NOW what she is creating for Violet. I know it’s going to amp up the mystery and the chill factor—and not to mention the romance factor as she already did in Desires of the Dead.

three-stars

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Title/Author: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Publisher/Year: Harper Teen 2010
Where I Got It: I bought it on my Nook!
Why I read It: I heard it was so creeptastic.

Violet, outwardly your average high school girl, has a secret that only a few close to her know. She has the ability to hear the echos of the dead whose lives were wrongly cut short at the hands of others. Their killers, unbeknownst to them, carry their own unique imprint that matches that of their victims that are also sensed by Violet. These bodies seek her out so that they can be uncovered and be at peace. But what happens when a serial killer is on the loose too close to home? And if that wasn’t bad enough, now she is starting to have feelings for her childhood best friend who suddenly became eye candy at school overnight.

The premise had me from the moment I read it–hook, line and sinker. I was a little carp just flapping around on Derting’s line. I was intrigued by the fresh idea and got a wee bit giddy for some supernatural action and a good mystery. I like to try and guess whodunit because it makes me feel like Nancy Drew who I idolized as a child. However, I’m not sure that Nancy Drew ever had a connection with dead people.

I could not stop turning the pages of this one. I needed to know who this serial killer was and I just wanted to find out what was going to happen between Violet and Jay! So on one hand, you have this super creepy aspect of this book where there is a serial killer and a girl who hears echos of dead people and then you have this adorable budding romance where you just want to throw these two characters together and show them how obvious it is that they want each other. At every point there was something that interested me whether we were a step closer to finding out who the killer was or whether there was some drama with Violet or Jay. And the romance was not at all annoying (other than wanting them to just BE TOGETHER) and it was very much realistic and sweet. It was like watching two friends in high school who were so obviously into each other and you just wanted it to happen already. I would have been placing bets on how long it took them to realize this. Anyways, I was rather fond of them as a couple. The other characters in the book were not so memorable to me and actually Violet would have fallen flat for me at times if she didn’t have such an interesting “gift”. Hopefully in the sequel she’ll become a little more alive for me.

I have to say I was hoping for it to be super creepy and keep me up late at night to the point where every creak in the house HAD to be some psycho serial killer creeping around my house. Seriously, I get like that. I start sweating and thinking of what I could hit him with. Anyways, it wasn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be. However, Derting did something very effective to add the creepy element to satisfy me. She had some alternating chapters from the perspective of this unknown serial killer. Being in the serial killer’s head was CREEPY and added a whole other element to the story. Props to Derting for doing that because she pulled it off well! She must have been browsing the true crime section of the bookstore because I thought she captured the essence of the serial killer perfectly.  And props to Derting because I, the queen of figuring out the endings to things, didn’t even see that ending coming until nearer to the end of the book. That made me happy!

My Final Thought: Read this if you are looking for a YA book that will quicken your heart rate with its creepy plotline involving serial killers and dead bodies along with a romance that gives you butterflies. Derting creates the perfect novel for someone who wants to dabble in a little supernatural action but not fully immerse themselves. For lovers of the supernatural/paranormal scene, this one will definitely be one that will chill you and thrill you with its fast pace and its refreshing premise although it might be lacking in the paranormal creature department.

four-stars
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