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Review: One Hundred Candles

One Hundred Candles is the second full-length book in the Past Midnight series by author Mara Purnhagen. It was released in the U.S. in paperback format on February 15, 2011 and is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The eBook format will available on March 1, 2011 and is currently available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Published by Harlequin TEEN, the paperback edition is 240 pages.

Goodreads description:

It’s taken a long time for me to feel like a normal teenager. But now that I’m settled in a new school, where people know me as more than Charlotte Silver of the infamous Silver family paranormal investigators, it feels like everything is falling into place. And what better way to be normal than to go on a date with a popular football star like Harris Abbott? After all, it’s not as if Noah is anything more than a friend….

But my new life takes a disturbing turn when Harris brings me to a party and we play a game called One Hundred Candles. It seems like harmless, ghostly fun. Until spirits unleashed by the game start showing up at school. Now my friends and family are in very real danger, and the door that I’ve opened into another realm may yield deadly consequences.

***

Spending her Christmas break at an insane asylum was unusual, even for Charlotte Silver, daughter of two famous paranormal investigators. Wandering the cold and empty halls of an abandoned mental facility just didn’t scream “happy holidays.”

Lately it seemed that no matter where she went, paranormal entities seemed to follow. And a sanitarium in Ohio was no exception.

But this time there was no mystery about what what it wanted. Someone had to be punished. Someone crossed the line. And that someone was Charlotte.

***

One Hundred Candles is the second full-length book in the Past Midnight Series. A couple of uneventful months have passed and Charlotte is still trying to figure out exactly what happened in Charleston.

When her family goes to Ohio to investigate paranormal activity at an abandoned insane asylum, she is targeted by an angry entity that wants her to pay for what she’d seen. Fortunately, whatever this thing is doesn’t seem to follow her back home.

Everything was going fine until the night she took part in the one hundred candles game, which, if done right, was to open the door for one hundred spirits. And when what seem to be the very same spirits talked about in the game begin to appear at the school, Charlotte wonders whether it is really those summoned spirits, a hoax or the malevolent entity from Ohio coming for her.

One Hundred Candles is an absolutely riveting story with a mystery that deepens and a pace that continues to escalate. It is much darker, and more tension-filled and action-packed, than the first book in the series, with an exciting and astonishing end.

Once again there are two very harmonious storylines, but this time both include a paranormal element. This story has all the good stuff that the first book has, but on steroids.

From the drama at home, to the mystery at school, to the underlying threat of repercussions from the encounter in Ohio, Author Mara Purnhagen has significantly increased the suspense levels in this book, all leading up to the explosive conclusion.

This story is perfect for readers who love a mystery with a paranormal twist and the torment that is the norm for teenage girls.

Reviewer gives this book [rating=5]

On a personal note:

I was all set to like this book just as much as the first, but somewhere in the middle of the story I started thinking it was pretty freaking fantastic. And I was completely unprepared for just how good it got in the last twenty percent of the book.

I cannot wait for the next book to come out to find out what happens next with Charlotte and if she does manage to graduate without any more supernatural beings getting in her way. (I’m thinking probably not.)

I hope that we get to see more Avery and Jared in the next book. Even though Avery was in the picture she just wasn’t as connected to the story as she was in the first book. And I hope we have a lot more Noah.

The only things I would say pulled me out of the story were the flashbacks. I like the use of flashbacks – and they existed in Past Midnight but fairly infrequently – but they were used in this book much more often. And when I’d turn a page expecting to see what happened next, it was actually much later, and it sometimes took a second to figure that out. Then Charlotte would flashback to tell what was missed.

I liked Charlotte and her family a lot in the first book and the novella, but now I love them. I am so glad I had a chance to meet them all.

***

The third book in the series, Beyond the Grave, will be released in September 2011.

Thank you Harlequin TEEN and NetGalley for the review copy.

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