Saturday, November 14, 2015

Ghost Finders Novel, Book 6 - Forces from Beyond


First, I did not want to see this series end.  This has been a fun series, and I've enjoyed each book so much more than the last.  What started out as just a good ghost hunting team in Ghost of a Chance turned, in the course of six books, into a family of sorts, with a purpose and a mission.  From Ghost of a Smile and Ghost of a Dream, to Spirits from Beyond and Voices from Beyond, each subsequent adventure not only put them in more and more dangerous situations, but also knitted the group tighter and revealed more and more of the underlying, continuing drama going on behind the scenes at the Carnacki Institute.  I thought this was going to be another great ongoing series, as well-written as Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series.

But then I finished Forces from Beyond.

To say I was thrown for a loop by the ending is putting it mildly.  The team not only finally gets some information and inside looks at the Carnacki Institute's evil nemesis, the Crowley Project, but they find out the true nature of the Flesh Undying and come face to face with the entity itself.  This truly was the fulfillment of every story that has been building since the very first book.  This was the opportunity to open the team up for a brand new mission, a brand new outlook, and maybe even some brand new characters.

Instead, we get a very definite end to the series (although the last two pages do leave a bit of an opening, but I'm not holding out hope).  Some of the characters make it out alive.  Some of them don't.  Some of the are changed forever.  There's JC Chance, the ever dashing, ever daring team leader who pushes his team to their limits, but at the same time is never afraid to take the first risk.  Happy Jack Palmer, the team telepath who is barely hanging on to life through the various combination of pills he is forced to take in order to function.  Melody Chambers, the team techie who is like a kid in the candy store when given the opportunity to see what the Crowley Project has in terms of illegal and even unfathomable technology.  Catherine Latimer, the Boss of the Carnacki Institute, whose heart is as cold as her exterior expressions, but who has her own secrets that are revealed in this book.  Then there's Kim Sterling, the only real "ghost" in the Ghost Finders team, whose connection with JC and love for him takes a whole new turn by the end of this one.

The characterization is so well done, the dialogue is fun and natural, and the storytelling keeps me turning page after page, not wanting to put it down.  The only other series that keeps me this excited about reading it is the Dresden Files.  Only, Butcher has put Dresden on hold for the time being, and now Green has more or less put an end to this series. what do I read?

I guess all good things must come to an end - and just like Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, I'd rather see a series end while it is still so good, than to see the author push out work that is sub-par or let someone else get a hold of it and change it in ways it should never be changed (recent incarnations of Wonder Woman, anyone?).  So while the conclusion is bittersweet, and while JC, Melody, Happy, and Kim will be sorely missed, I can honestly say it was an excellent run.  All six books were top-notch, enjoyable reading, and I definitely do not regret one word that I read.

RATING:  Ten dissolving bits of flesh undying out of ten for giving me a fantastic run of books, and for making me truly feel for the characters on the page.

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