Review: Desires Of The Dead by Kimberly Derting

28 Apr

Series: Body Finder, book #2

Published: March 15th 2011 by HarperCollins

Details: Hardcover, 368 pages

Rating: 2/5

My Summary:

Sequel to The Body Finder about Violet who can sense murdered bodies. I thought her steamy romance with Jay in the previous book was really good. This one however was a disappointment. It felt like a filler, with no plot to speak of, and with a heroine who showed no backbone whatsoever, to the point that she started to bug me. Won’t continue the series.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A few chapters in:

I remember reading The Body Finder and loving it, especially the budding romance between Violet and her childhood friend Jay, which was truly sweet. And so, when this sequel hit the shelves, I knew I wanted to continue their story.

Hence, here I am a few chapters in. Violet and Jay are now a couple, and as much in love as before. But troubles are closing in, and it comes from various directions.

Firstly, there are two new kids in school, Mike and his sister, and Jay has started to spend far too much time with Mike, to Violet’s dismay. Meanwhile, someone – a girl – is feeling angry with Violet for supposedly taking Jay from her and has started threatening Violet with various anonymous messages.

As if that wasn’t all, Violet has also found a new body. As you may recall from The Body Finder, Violet has the uncanny ability to sense murdered bodies, as they give out a special echo sound that only Violet can hear. Once discovering a body, the echo will keep bugging Violet until it has been given a proper burial-place where it can rest in peace.

Hence, after coming across this latest body, she places an anonymous call to the police so that it can be found. Problem is, her call is traced back to her, and before she knows it, the FBI has approached her for questioning. What will happen when they find out about her ability?

And this is as far as I’ve got.

Unfortunately, I have to admit I’m not feeling it yet with this sequel. Violet has started to bug me, because she keeps everything a secret, refuses to let anyone help her and in general is just too meek, quiet and gloomy for my liking. I’ve wanted to yell “get it together!” quite a few times already. Which can’t be a good sign. I’m especially frustrated with the way Violet treats Jay, who does everything in his power to keep her happy, yet all she does is pouts.

Moreover, the plot is not much of a plot yet, rather it’s screaming filler. Particularly the subplot about a psycho girl who dumps dead cats on Violet’s porch is a bit too over the top for me. It sounds more like Glen Close in Fatal Attraction than a little school girl who is jealous over another girl’s boyfriend, don’t you think?

In short, I’m trying to remember now what was so good with The Body Finder, because doubts are creeping in. Or maybe I’m being too harsh here, it may get better the more I read, let’s hope so..

 

 

After finishing the book:

Well, you probably have guessed it already from my little prelude above. I was not a fan at the beginning of the book and that’s unfortunately how it stayed.

My main issue is that a plot was lacking for about two-thirds of the book. Instead what we got was Violet, Jay and friends going on about their life. There were tons of descriptions of Violet’s best friend Chelsea’s infatuation with Mike which didn’t add to the story line at all. More than highlighting the fact that Chelsea just rivaled Vee in Hush Hush as the most obnoxious best friend ever in YA literature (I see a Top 5 List emerging). Geez what an irritating, self-centered brat!

Ok, with that out of the way, back to the topic at hand: the non-existent plot. Tons of passages are dedicated to Violet feeling this, and feeling that, that she should really say this and she should tell someone that, yet no words ever form in her mouth. Frustrating to say the least! Moreover, what really annoyed me this time around with Violet is that she seemed so fragile! It felt like a gust of wind could make her crumble, or a mean look could make her cry, you know what I mean? I wanted to shake her about 90% of the time, and shout ” Just get it together girl”!!

Then to top it off, we get to the “break-up” between Violet and Jay, happening over a phone call when Jay doesn’t immediately accept Violet’s accusation of someone he knows. Say what?? Now I understand that having no plot, we need to shake things about a bit, thus creating a bit of a turmoil between Violet and Jay seems like a good idea. Yet, that poor excuse for a break-up made me (if possible) even more frustrated with Violet than I already was. She really is impossibly difficult!

All right, so moving on. In the last couple of chapters a plot finally emerges. Unfortunately, it turns out to be so predictable it reads as a child story. Lots of foreshadowing. I felt like, three chapters away, I could have stopped reading and mapped out that whole conclusion myself. And get everything right!

Finally, the one and only thing that was good was the writing. Violet’s uncanny ability is described in such a way that even though it’s certainly weird and I have never encountered anything remotely like it before, it makes perfect sense as I’m reading it. As if the dead calling on Violet is the most natural thing in the world. No doubt due to excellent writing skills.

Nevertheless, I have no plans to continue Violet’s and Jay’s story. I’m not sure what is in store for them, no doubt another murder case to be unraveled and possibly one or two minor fights with Jay, maybe even Rafe making an appearance as another candidate viewing for Violet’s attention. All though that would be a shame, seeing as Jay is such a lovely guy.

Oh, I’m just guessing here. Like I said, this is the end of the series for me. After having read this sequel, I believe Derting should have left The Body Finder as it was (no doubt) originally planned: as a stand-alone novel.

Third book to be published sometime next year.

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6 Responses to “Review: Desires Of The Dead by Kimberly Derting”

  1. patsy williams April 25, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    This one was a bit of a letdown for me I am afraid.
    You can tell it was meant to be a standalone that got turned into a trilogy. Sometimes that works, but i dont think it did in this case. The whole FBI thing should have started in the first one to give it a common thread. Also I really loved the relationship build up in the first one, more than the plot really and without that this one just didnt have the same feel.
    Glad you liked Nightshade though! Its one of those ones that sounds lame when you describe it to other people (bit like Vamp Academy!) but the writing and the voice are just so cool.
    If you feel like more werewolves after that one try Raised By Wolves by Jennifer Lynne Barnes. One of those ones that got lost in the deluge of werewolf stories that flooded the market last year but was probably the best of the bunch. Great protagonist and the way she sets out the structure of the pack and their world is fantasticly complex.
    pats

    • tess April 25, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

      Hey Pats,
      Wow, you just summed up my thoughts on Desires of the Dead!! I agree on every point, that it feels like it was meant to be a stand-alone, and that the plot was never very strong, instead I adored the prequel because of the build-up romance. Without that element in this sequel, I’m noticing the lack of a strong plot even more. And so, can’t help but feeling a bit disappointed. Ah well, I’m already half-way through so might as well finish now.
      Thanks as well for another werewolf book tip! Have heard about Raised by Wolves but it sort of got lost among all the other books in my TBR list, now will definitely read it! And yes I devoured Nightshade – like you said, on the paper it didn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary but it certainly was!!
      Tess

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting « After Twilight… - October 6, 2010

    […] turner which is definitely worth the read.  Apparently there is a sequel coming out next year, Desires of the Dead, which I’m very happy about. I would love to read more about Jay and […]

  2. Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey « After Twilight… - June 25, 2011

    […] The ending wrapped everything up so nicely, that I am wondering if I really want to go ahead a read the sequel Jessica Rules the Dark Side, which is to be published in January next year. I’m afraid that it may be another one of those originally planned stand alones which has been turned into a series to generate more revenue. Sorry Fantaskey, but I’ve been burnt before, see Body Finder Series. […]

  3. Review: Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey « After Twilight… - June 25, 2011

    […] The ending wrapped everything up so nicely, that I am wondering if I really want to go ahead a read the sequel Jessica Rules the Dark Side, which is to be published in January next year. I’m afraid that it may be another one of those originally planned stand alones which has been turned into a series to generate more revenue. Sorry Fantaskey, but I’ve been burnt before, see Body Finder Series. […]

  4. Review: Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer « After Twilight… - October 20, 2011

    […] Only 50 pages in, my “filler warning bell” started ringing. (The bell that rings when I see filler-signs, usually in sequels, see Linger or Desires of the Dead.) […]

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