Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wake Unto Me Review

Wake Unto Me - Lisa Cach
*March 31st, 2011 Speak

A haunted castle, a handsome young man dead for four hundred years, one heck of a scary portrait of a witch, and a treasure hunt -- not to mention a princess for a roommate! -- all await 15 year old American girl Caitlyn Monahan when she earns a scholarship to a French boarding school.

There are secrets behind the stone walls of Chateau de la Fortune, buried for centuries along with the mystery of who killed Raphael, the charming ghost who visits Caitlyn at night. But as Caitlyn unearths the history of the castle, nothing scares her as badly as the secret she learns about herself, and the reason she was chosen to come to the Fortune School.

And nothing breaks her heart as badly as falling in love with a dead guy.

Ghosts, an exotic locale, a mystery... Lisa Cach's Wake Unto Me has all the trappings of a deliciously dark story well worthy of its creepy cover1.

There's a lot of controversy in the literary world regarding prologues, usually against them. But Wake Unto Me is one example, I think, in which the prologue works quite well. Cach starts out the novel on an ominous note, which from the very get-go leaves the reader curious about the tone of the rest of the story. The fact that the majority of the story takes place in France is very cool indeed, lending it an added layer of mystique from being foreign. Although I get that people from numerous countries are kind of requisite with the setting, the inclusion of numerous languages and comprehension thereof is something I'm a little on the fence about.

Wake Unto Me certainly explores a number of paranormal elements in a fresh way. The "Screechers", the timelines, the transcendental lives... Cach puts her own unique spin on each aspect. Overall, the mystery element was nicely done, although parts of it were more predictable than the characters seemed able to put together.

The scenes of the climax and denouement are artfully written and satisfying. The resolution, alas, is slightly less so. It tests the limits of credibility, and the way it came about (and the sheer lack of acknowledgement thereof) is rather disturbing.

With Wake Unto Me, Cach has written an intriguing and Romantic ghost story that shimmers of mystique.

1 Is it just me, or is there something really bizarre about the guy's hands on the cover?

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