The Ghost Hunter's Daughter

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

This book unfortunately wasn't my cup of tea so I did end up DNF'ing the book. I was attracted to the plot of this book but unfortunately did not meet my expectations.
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Anna is the outcast daughter of a ghost hunter father. Her mother was possessed and committed suicide. I really enjoyed this tale of a girl finding her own strength when her town was faced with a supernatural danger. Everyone else doesn't believe in the things she does, so they aren't able to put a stop to it all, but the outcast girl comes to the rescue and I enjoyed reading it.
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I received this book in exchange for a honest review from NetGalley.

I really wanted to love this book. It was incredibly well written, and had a premise that I really loved. Unfortunately this book was just not for me. The author did such a great job at fully realizing an exaggerated level of anxiety (more than is already heightened for teens) that it made me vibrate with sympathetic anxiety. I would feel my heart race and I think that is just a little too much for me now a days. I hated high-school and my teenage years when I was there and this just hit a little too close to home for me. Otherwise though an excellent book that was very well written.
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First, I would like to thank NetGalley, East Side Press and Caroline Flarity for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is a book I just couldn't put down. 

We first start the novel with Anna Fagan (AKA Goblin Girl) waking to a Trickster (the least dangerous type of spirit attachment) waking her up the day before the anniversary of her mother's death. We then meet her father, Jack, a hoarder to the highest degree. He's also a veteran paranormal investigator. Anna only has two loyal friends, Freddy and Dor. 

As their junior year approaches, a rare solar storm lights the night sky and the citizens of her hometown begin acting really strange: Anna's best friends withdraw, her teachers lash out, and the school bullies go from mean to murderous. She realizes that she and only she can stop the evil growing in her New Jersey hometown. But she must first stop her own dark thoughts.

There were several trigger warnings: suicide, possession, suicide ideation, mental illness, bullying, self-harm, animal cruelty, and abusive adults in power.
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I don’t even know how to approach this.

I really wanted to like The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter, especially since the cover is so eye catching to me. It gave me Ghostbusters vibes, in a strange and unusual way. I was here for it.

What I got was a little bit of . . . nothing.

I admit I didn’t finish it completely. I DNF around the 30% mark. Maybe more happened in the second half, who knows. I just know I was struggling and I can’t keep forcing myself. Which sucks, because maybe the book did have potential.

It’s blurbed as being for older teens, but it felt very juvenile to me. Maybe more of the lower end of YA but not quite middle grade yet. Not horror, at all. Definitely supernatural, as there was something in that regard. It was just nothing like I was expecting after reading the blurb.

Anna really got under my skin. Yes, her father was a hoarder and I can completely relate with the embarrassment of the clutter and what-not . . . I just feel she was very self absorbed and just wanted to complain about everything.

I was expecting something Buffy the Vampire Slayer -esque, but alas that was not the case.  I was just let down. I’m sure it will be a hit with others who are more into the supernatural element, but it wasn’t for me.
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I definitely see the comparisons with the show "Supernatural". There are demons and possessions and just overall creepy things.

I didn't find the YA story thrilling but enjoyed the topic enough for 3 stars. The main character shows increased maturity over the course of the story. She learns to appreciate her dad and friends, while not bowing to the bullies.

*Thanks to NetGalley and publishers for this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Due to unexpected content (death of animal after losing my Luna not too long ago), I was not able to finish The Ghost Hunter's Daughter.
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I enjoyed reading this book. Both the story and characters are interesting. It was creepy, suspenseful, and dark. And that is a good thing. This is the first book I've read by this author and I would read future books by this author. I recommend it. It's a great read.
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I highly recommend this book. Fell in love with main character from very beginning. She is quirky which I love. The plot kept my interest and I would definitely read more by this author.
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Thanks NetGalley for the Arc! 

Can you image growing up with cursed objects, and demons?  I can't but Anna did just that. 
Her father is a paranormal investigator (something that has always fascinated me) but they don't focus all that much on the paranormal but rather the supernatural as a tie in to the story, which was disappointing but it did a little. 

However, what pleasantly surprised me was how the book dealt with grief.  Anna's mother had killed herself because she thought she was possessed by a demon.  The grief that her father and herself deal with is spot on. 

I enjoyed this more than I thought I would
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Solid plot, interesting mythology, characters and style need some work

I would like to thank Caroline Flarity, East Side Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Spoilers

This book won’t become a favorite, but I enjoyed it. Spent most of today binging it. I easily became immersed in Anna’s world and was intrigued by Flarity’s take on paranormal mythology and the way she married it almost seamlessly with science. And after I realized all the characters were assholes or major creeps—or both—on purpose, I started to care about them. Well, the ones I was supposed to care about.

Anna wasn’t a particularly strong protagonist until perhaps the climax. She was generally rather unlikable; yeah, I get that she was being emotionally poisoned, but even in the beginning she seemed selfish, self-pitying, and had a sulky, resentful attitude. She did realize later that she hadn’t been a very good friend or daughter of late, and that redeemed her a bit.

Also, I was a little baffled and disappointed by how Anna handled situations. Or didn’t handle them, I guess. She seemed to think stoically bearing humiliation or just walking away from something was dignified and commendable, and I understand the merits of that sentiment and where it comes from. I was taught to walk away and not engage an antagonist, too. But there’s a difference between keeping your chin up or refusing to engage and ignoring a confrontation because you’re too scared or lazy to actually do something about it. She snapped back at Denton for putting her failed quiz on display—but she didn’t turn him in. Don’t feed trolls, but also don’t let them think you’ll take their crap.

I liked Freddy and Doreen well enough. Neither made a huge impression or were particularly endearing, but I didn’t dislike them. I was glad when Doreen got over herself and decided to speak her opinions more often. I hope she held to that. I had no objections to Freddy and Anna being a thing, though I’m not sure I felt the chemistry. It took me a while to warm up to Geneva; I remained suspicious throughout the book that there would be some twist that revealed she was somehow the villain, or at least complicit. But by the end when she was very firmly a good guy, I was totally on board with her as a character and with her and Jack maybe getting together. She might have been the most likable character in the story.

Shout-out to Penelope. You deserved better, Peeps girl.

Question: Why was Anna always referring to her dad or Doreen’s mom or Freddy’s mom by their first names? It was immediately noticeable and weird. At first, when it was just with Jack, I thought it was a way of showing her lack of regard for him, of demonstrating how distant their relationship had become, and I thought that was a clever touch. For good or ill, many children make the deliberate choice to use their parents’ given names. But then she did it with Cindy and Gloria, and I was back to baffled.

Writing-wise, Flarity can work on making her characters more likable, but she also needs to keep a rein on POV. Nothing outside Anna’s POV was necessary. Not Izzy’s, not Jack’s, not Freddy’s. Not one of them provided any unique information that I couldn’t have inferred or understood from Anna’s perspective. Changing to those viewpoints was random and jarring, unhelped by styling it in italics—worse, Izzy’s POV just plain confused me and I wasted time backing up and reading it again trying to understand what the hell was happening. Those POVs really irritated me. Her editor should have taken a big ol’ red pen to them.

Her plot seemed pretty solid, though. The only hole I can think of cursorily is just a tiny one that can probably be easily excused. Water softeners. If adding salt to the town’s water helped to purify it, how did water softeners factor in? Maybe households that used them weren’t poisoned as badly? Maybe the salt concentration wasn’t enough to make much difference? I’m unclear as to whether salt alone can do much cleansing or if it’s only useful if paired with a blessing. But yeah, it was an automatic thought for me: Anna’s putting salt in the water to help cleanse it? Lucky me, I do that on my own every few months.

Two random points: First, Coach Pickens’s death was announced as if it were significant, but I have no idea what it was supposed to signify. Just that he happened to be a casualty of the demon’s influence? I’m super okay with that.

Second, I think there might have been a continuity error. I’m pretty sure it was said more than once that Doreen lived quite close to Anna, and that Freddy lived further. In ch 19 for sure, Anna said Dor’s place was closer. Then in chapter 20, she said Freddy’s house was on the way to Dor’s. How can Dor’s house be closer to Anna’s and therefore a logical first stop, and yet Freddy’s house is on the way there, in the two blocks between Dor’s and Anna’s? Maybe that was fixed or clarified in the final draft.

Lastly, I wanted to touch on genre and tone. You can call it horror, but it didn’t scare me in the least. Creeped me out, definitely—the people more than the entities—but I won’t be keeping the lights on tonight. I wonder if it’s because Anna didn’t seem to be all that scared of the paranormal activity. Not much, anyway. She was used to it and took most of it in stride. The only one that really shook her was the demon because it was on a whole other level. The reader takes cues from the narrator, and if the narrator isn’t scared, the reader won’t be, either.

Regarding tone, Flarity gets deliciously dark—yet almost feels like a tease. She implies, infers, and even describes some really dark things—suicidal thoughts, abuse, sexual molestation of minors, just to name a few—yet she never actually calls them what they are. She was rarely if ever frank about it; pretended to be, but remained vague. She referred to sex—a lot, these teenagers are freaking nymphos—or maybe just teenagers—but never actually talked about sex. I had no idea if I was supposed to assume Anna had had sex with that Michael guy or if they’d just hit all the other bases. It’s like Flarity wanted to explore dark themes but was afraid of being vulgar or offensive. Case in point, she’ll use “damn” and “shit” but won’t touch “fuck.” I get the YA factor, but don’t coddle that demographic. They don’t need it. Myself, I’m a straightforward person, no patience for dancing around the point, so personally I think if you’re going to go there, fucking go there, or use a lighter tone.

Overall, Flarity has a lot of talent, especially in regards to mythology, and can tell a good story, but there are a couple areas she can work on going forward.

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There's a lot of tension and drama between the characters that works well within the larger supernatural storyline. I got into the book quickly and enjoyed it more as it went along. I also liked the ominous backdrop of the solar storms and the mystery surrounding them. I love it when characters are flawed but likable, especially when they evolve. It's a dark, sometimes darkly comic, book with frightening subject matter, but it's also a very personal coming-of age tale.
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The Ghost Hunter's Daughter is a dark book with an fast-paced plot and well developed characters. The book also tackles several heavy topics, self injury, suicide, bullying, hoarding and child sexual abuse, but most of it is pretty mild. Anna might be a bit self-absorbed at times, so there's some things she don't pick up in regards of her friends, which was a bit frustrating.

Nontheless, it was a fun book to read.
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The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter by Caroline Flarity is a young adult horror / paranormal fantasy. While this one is young adult with a sixteen year old main character the content is on the mature side with trigger warnings for suicide (while possessed), suicide ideation, bullying, mental illness (hoarding), self-harm, animal cruelty, predatory and abusive adults in positions of power.

Described as a mix of Supernatural and Mean Girls I couldn’t help but be curious and I suppose I could see that description.  Anna is an outsider and social misfit in her town and known as the Goblin Girl due to her ability to see the supernatural and working alongside her father as he makes a living cleaning haunted objects. As a rare solar storm passes over Anna’s town bad things begin to happen to those around her forcing her to find a way to save the whole town.

I have to admit I totally missed the trigger warnings on this one myself and was thinking along the lines of a more cutesy teen drama with some ghosts and stuff but it really was a lot darker than expected. Typical horror type of wrongness begins to happen to the town to show that the evil has moved in and yes, it’s disturbing and creepy but I  think that ended up catching my attention more being a horror fan. When all said and done I thought it was a solid read worth 3 1/2 stars for mature audiences.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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This book was a good and quick read.  Would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys this genre.  I would read something from this author again.
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This book was much better than expected, I thought it may be a little silly in places but it was pretty dark and creepy. I always enjoy a good ghost book too. Will definitely keep an eye out for more books by Caroline Flarity
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This was a very interesting book. I was very surprised. I would definitely recommend it. I would love to see more from this author..
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3 for neutral.  Was never able to get into this book and enjoy it enough to finish.  I am a very moody reader, so it could be my mood and if so I’ll update when able to finish.
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Anna at a age loses her mom to a demon depression.  Her father takes her along on his jobs of clearing objects that were possessed.  Her father was a plumber by trade but stopping the plumber work.  This made Anna a social outcast.  She ended up with only two friends.  When her father starts acting strange, she doesn’t notice right away as she navigates the narrow alleyways due to the hoarding he has done ever since her mom died.  When she notices how her friends are acting weird with others having murderous thoughts, including hsel she know something is wrong with the town.  Will she be able to figure out what has happened?  Will she be ale to stop it?  Will her friendships survive?

The novel is well written.  It is a paranormal story including teenager angst, friendships, and mental health issues.  This is not a typical ghost story as I expected.  It turned out to be a mystery with a demon in it.  I wanted to know what was causing the people to act so strangely.
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I couldn't put this book down. I loved the author's take on the supernatural/paranormal realm. The heroine of the story was, in my opinion, a very strong, intelligent, brave character whose resilience was truly amazing. I try not to include spoilers in my reviews so I won't discuss what actually happened in the book, but the writing style of the author was enjoyable. I read this book in about 2 days and I'm a full-time mom, a full-time college student, and a full-time worker. Every spare second I had I was reading this book. Very well done. I will be watching this author. I would love to read any other works of hers.
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