Sunday, 16 September 2012

Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings

Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings is a rollicking great read out from Strange Chemistry (YA imprint of Angry Robot) on  October 2nd in the US/Canada and ebook and on October 4th for the UK/Aus paperback. A copy of this book was provided for review from the publisher. Also, how awesome is the cover? I love it.

Julie is a trainee witch, still learning the craft from her mother. The only person who knows her secret is her best friend Marcus. An excerpt from the blurb:
When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it’s pretty obvious to Julie there’s a supernatural connection.

In fact, there’s a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie’s high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it’s a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won’t just lose her mother’s soul, she’ll lose her mother’s life.

This was a great fun read packed full of action and (magical) explosions. I liked Julie as a kick-arse heroine but one who hadn’t come into her full power yet. When bad things happen, she’s still supposed to call her mum and when she doesn’t, she gets told off and grounded. It’s nice to see a YA book where the main character’s parent has some agency and acts like a normal parent despite the supernatural elements (even if she spends half the book unconscious — it’s still an improvement).

Marcus is painted as a love interest early on and, although Julie panics at first, I found her examination of her feelings (in between something trying to kill her) believable. Oh and Marcus is a science geek and keeps trying to work out how magic fits in with physics. It was great.

The only thing I didn’t like was Julie’s other (female) friend’s jealousy regarding Marcus. It would have been nice if there was also a strong girlfriend relationship but at least there were no queen bitches at the school (a trope I’m a bit sick of).

I very much enjoyed this read and I hope that there will be more books about Julie in the future (and from his website it seems that Cummings is working on a follow up, Student Bodies, so yay). I recommend Poltergeeks to anyone who wants a quick, fun read with lots of action, crazy paranormal activity and a dash of awkward romance. And bonus: it’s set in Canada for a bit of variety.
4.5 / 5 stars

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