Book Review: Spades (Spades, #1)

Cynthia Ayala ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff

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Author: Kristy Evans

Published: September 10, 2011

Publisher: Kristy Evans | Smashwords

Series: Spades

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy

Calise Thomas trains with Chris and his accomplices at a secret location in the woods. The only thing that links them together is their identical spade mark. But they’re not alone. Something unseen and heavy is in their midst, watching their every move, stalking their every turn. If Calise wants in, she must figure out who she is and what she’s capable of … before the haunting catches her first.

Kristy Evans explores the paranormal in a more subtle way.  The novel begins with the main characters in the car, showing us who they are along with their respective personalities.  Each character has a distinctive personality that separates it from the rest of the characters.  For the main character, Calise, there is some growth.  Her character starts out a bit bland, but her past and her history give her character some depth, something that makes her struggle something interesting to read, something to give the reader reason to root for her.

As far as the story went, some disappointment arose from it. Throughout the novel, Calise begins to experience hallucinations and along with the hauntings she also experiences, you believe they are one in the same, except unfortunately all that hype is nothing.  The whole reason adds nothing to the plot and instead subtracts from the story as a whole.  The reader is left wondering if anything is really haunted or not.  What the author was trying to do was build animosity between the two female characters, but that has been established; the author did not need to add that one detail to the novel.  Like I said, all it really did was take away from the plot as a whole.

Beside the haunting aspect, it was a good read but a little dull. Calise is training throughout the novel in an attempt to prove that she can be a part of the thievery gang and have a spade tattoo of her own.  That is what the novel is about for the most part.  It’s incredibly repetitive and dull.  Even though it shows the characters growth from the beginning and her training goes forth to explain some of the hauntings, it really is quite dull.   However that made it a really easy read.

Even though the plot needs more work, by the end the writer built enough subtlety to grab the reader and make the reader want more.  Subtle detail is an underappreciated art in fiction, so on that detail, have to applaud the writer in her subtle detailing that does not disappoint.  Her writing is solid, and she has a natural talent with creating distinct characters who also do not fall into clichés.  Her only downside is creating a work of fiction that comes off as dull.  Even though there were scene specifics that did so as well as the characters, everything else fell flat.  ★★★ (B-)

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