Thursday, 10 November 2011

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

*WARNING If you haven't read book one there are a few very mild spoilers which shouldn't be an issue since they're all predictable. The spoilers only concerns events in book one.*

Desires of the Dead is the Sequel to Kimberly Derting's novel, The Body Finder (here), and follows mostly the same story. It's a YA, probably also describable as paranormal, and we've got the same retinue of characters as book one, and the same area, yet the idea you walk away with is that it feels like the same book as the last.

In the Body Finder, Violet found bodies and got involved in the serial killer investigation, though originally against her will. For people unfamiliar with the book, Violet has the unique and chilling ability to find bodies of living things that have been killed. They call to her, and though sometimes she isn't aware, she then starts heading towards the body. Once the body is buried, the calling reduces to a point that it can then be ignored. It's a weird ability, but it's good that isn't something she can turn on and off: it's integral to her life.

So the major point is that the story of this book is practically the story of the last book. There is the element of the FBI interest, but the bare bones of it are exactly the same. Accidentally gets involved in murder mystery, can't help trying to solve. For me, this wasn't too much of an issue. As I said at the start of my Body Finder review, I read and loved this writer because I love her writing and she really seems to know how to pull people into a story; people like me anyway. So even though I was aware the story was the same, I still enjoyed the writing and the characters.

I good thing I don't think I mentioned in the Body Finder review was that every so often, a chapter is told by another person. Usually they are somewhat murderous, and the fact that we don't know who it is until later on makes these chapters creepy but impossibly interesting. One can't help reading them and trying to find the clues which are giving away who it is.

The romance in the book wasn't as unbearable as last time; I mean they weren't kissing all the time. She matured a little bit, but I don't think she was that different. The thing is I like Jay as a character, and I think they're a good couple, but when they are actually being a couple I just want to glaze over. The relationship was in the 'jealous' stage a bit, and I wonder if that was just for story progression, but I never felt the jealousy was founded since there was never chemistry like with Jay and Violet. This might get better.

Her obsession with finding the bodies is explained away as something she can't control, an urge, but she demonstrates that she can overcome it and ignore it if she has to, so I can't understand why she keeps going off on her own in dangerous places. I mean no one is that stupid. It keeps the story going but, if there is another sequel, I think I'm going to get annoyed. Three books of a heroine who isn't using common sense are bound to get on my nerves.

A final point before I conclude, I have to say I liked the new element in the story of Chelsea's life. It was nice to see a less sarcastic (the 'You can kiss my buttocks' kind) Chelsea, and I actually see her more. I kind of love Chelsea's outrageousness and frankness- honesty's the best policy, right? Another of the things I loved in book one was the relationship Violet had with her friends because they seemed real and people who'd be fun to hang out with. We didn't see as much of Jules and Claire this time, but they were always light relief more than actually important.

All in all it was good book, and if you liked book one, you'll probably like this too. The premise is just as interesting and a murder mystery is by its very nature engaging, and I think that most people won't be bothered by the similarities with book one.


  1. I truly love the way Kimberly Derting describes things--she captures some undefinable /something/ that makes her work poetic without being flowery. I really like Jay, but he and Violet together in this book just seemed like one big knot of misunderstandings and minor squabbles. Chelsea is cool.

  2. I think that sums up exactly how I feel. I can't put it into words how I feel about it, but I do adore it; and you just said it perfectly. It's poetic without being flowery. Lovely, I'll use that in the review for the last book! >.<

    Yeah, the squabbles with Jay and Violet seemed put in only because it added an element of 'my life is falling apart' drama. I'm glad it was resolved, but I didn't believe it as I read it. No big problem but pointless in the scheme of things, I think.

    Chelsea is good, but I worry she may become a broken record, so to put it.