Monday, June 10, 2013

Review: Immortal Eclipse by Sherry Soule

Immortal Eclipse
by Sherry Soule
Publisher: Disenchanted Publishing
Publication date: April 30, 2013
Genre: Adult Paranormal
Source: Author in exchange for unbiased review
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon
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Mystery, Murder, Manolo Blahnik…  A devoted fashionata and practical New Yorker, Skylar Blackwell doesn’t believe in the supernatural—until she inherits Summerwind Mansion. . . . When her uncle is brutally murdered, and the cops seem uninterested in following up the case, Skylar journeys to California to seek answers. Her search for clues is soon overshadowed by haunting nightmares of a young woman also murdered in the house.  Now the inhabitants of Summerwind are mysteriously dying, leaving no evidence as to how or why, and Skylar finds herself in a deadly race against time to expose the killer—before they strike again.  The problem is . . . whoever it is may not be human. Armed with only wit and Pradas, Skylar begins questioning the servants, but the growing list of suspects includes the sexy and brooding caretaker, Dorian, a man desperately trying to forget his tragic past. And a major distraction for Skylar. Determined to play detective—instead of the fashion police—and unravel the dark history of the mansion, Skylar is plunged into an otherworldly mystery that not even she can explain away. As the boundaries between reality and dreams blur, Skylar’s greatest challenge is to stay alive long enough to learn the truth.
Immortal Eclipse by Sherry Soule offers paranormal elements, and a suspenseful murder mystery complete with ghosts, the occult and a side dish of romance. I found it to be a suspenseful, dark and haunting tale that I easily consumed. Three word review: suspenseful, eerie and strange.

The tale begins in New York City where we meet our protagonist Skylar Blackwell. She is a successful fashion photographer whose Uncle has recently died leaving her the Summerwind Mansion on the California coast. When she is laid-off from her job, she packs up and heads out West, to settle the estate and discover how her Uncle died. The tale that unfolds is filled with malevolent entities, an unusual staff and a series of unexplained murders. While not perfect, this tale entertained me as we unearthed the secrets of Summerwind.

Skylar Blackwell is a self proclaimed fashionista and romance book lover. She has grown up around a family that believes in the supernatural but claims she does not. I found her to be a contradiction. On one hand she believes runes protected her and then despite what she witnesses she declares there is no such thing as ghosts as she clutches a protective amulet. She believes she has a sixth sense, and thinks the amulet warns her, all while she tries to dismiss or explain what occurred. She was kind, thoughtful, snarky, confident and unsure. Sadly, I never completely connected with her. Dorian is the properties caretaker. He is mysterious and gorgeous. His interaction with Skylar goes from hot to cold One minute he is warning her away and the next he is asking her to go riding. There was definitely a physical attraction and interests but for most of the novel they behaved liked strangers. While everything is explained, I never quite bought into the romance. Other characters added to the mystery and kept me in suspense.

Summerwind Mansion was almost like a character itself and I loved the creep factor it provided. Everything about it from the paintings to the weird noises made me shiver. Soule spun a clever paranormal mystery. For me, this was the best aspect of the novel. I loved everything from the wind to the paranormal warnings. The sense of foreboding the author provided with subtle clues and changes thrilled me. Skylar has bizarre dreams and in them, we learn about events in the past and I enjoyed the way it was told. The ghost was dark, violent and believable. The occult, historical events and current danger all felt genuine. This would make a cool haunting movie. 

Those who enjoy haunts and paranormal mysteries will enjoy Immortal Eclipse. Despite the disconnect I felt with the characters, I was thoroughly entertained.

Three cups of coffee out of five

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