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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Review: Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen

Are ghosts real? Ask Charlotte Silver.

Title: Past Midnight
Author: Mara Purnhagen
Pages: 216
Source: Galley copy from Harlequin (Thank you!)


Let me set the record straight. My name is Charlotte Silver and I'm not one of those paranormal-obsessed freaks you see on TV…no, those would be my parents, who have their own ghost-hunting reality show. And while I'm usually roped into the behind-the-scenes work, it turns out that I haven't gone unnoticed. Something happened on my parents' research trip in Charleston—and now I'm being stalked by some truly frightening other beings. Trying to fit into a new school and keeping my parents' creepy occupation a secret from my friends—and potential boyfriends—is hard enough without having angry spirits whispering in my ear. All I ever wanted was to be normal, but with ghosts of my past and present colliding, now I just want to make it out of high school alive…

Her parents have made a name in disproving that ghosts exists. All her life Charlotte hasn't settled in one place, never having a chance to with the nature of her parents' work. They might be famous, but once people find out who Charlotte is and what her family does, she starts attracting all the wrong attention. All she wants is to be like a normal seventeen year old and not be treated as the Princess of the Paranormal once everyone finds out what her parents do.

When a filming in Charleston went wrong, her older sister, Annalise, decides its time for the family to settle down in one place and finally make a home. The family heads over to Copper Court, living in a new house, and hopefully, its time for a new beginning for Charlotte. But when they left Charleston, they brought along with them something. The very thing her parents sought to disprove. Ghosts. And they're stalking Charlotte.


The novel portrays ghosts as energies. There are no ghosts, but when we die, we leave behind energies, oftentimes in the places special to us or those that we frequent, and it is these energies we left behind that people sees as "ghosts". It's a very interesting concept/premise for a paranormal novel, and Mara Purnhagen was able to create a unique book combining paranormal investigation theories, elements and ghosts.

Charlotte is a character we can all relate to. Her need to be "normal" is very understandable, growing up not belonging anywhere and not really establishing ties with anyone other than her family. Her longing to belong to something and establishing roots somewhere is evident in the book, going so far as to keep her identity a secret in an attempt to make new friends.

Annalise, Charlotte's older sister is the big sister we all want to have. She's very sensitive to what Charlotte's been going through, and as an older sister did something about it, going to such great lengths as compromising with her parents and finally forcing them to settle in one place for Charlotte's sake. She's supportive and smart, and its no wonder why Charlotte sometimes feel jealous of her older sister. Annalise doesn't care what people will think of her, and faces problems with a smile, while Charlotte tends to hide and avoid it, being bothered that people thinks she's a freak because of what their parents do.

I love how Charlotte's family seem to be very close. They're a team, and though their lives are anything but ordinary, Charlotte's parents take into consideration what Annalise and Charlotte were feeling.

Past Midnight is a very engaging read and a fantastic start of a series. Fast paced and thrilling, its a fun novel you shouldn't miss. Fans of the paranormal genre have to read this! I'm a slow reader, so I didn't make it in time, but this is a perfect read for Halloween as well.
Favorite quote:

When ghosts speak, you listen. And if you don’t—well, they find a way to make you listen.
But they don’t use words.
Content (plot, story flow, character):

Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:

I just love how the cover fits the theme of the book perfectly. It's eerie but beautiful at the same time.

Yes - The Goddess Approves!


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