MARY HADES by Sarah Dalton – BOOK REVIEW

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MARY HADES #1
By: Sarah Dalton

* I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Firstly I have to mention the book cover. It is creeptastic. It is eye-catching and makes you want to instantly pick it up.

Mary Hades is 17 and her best friend, Lacey is a ghost.

Their friendship didn’t start off as ghost-human, they were actual friends. Mary and Lacey had both been admitted to a mental institution. That is where they met.

Lacey was killed when the pair faced off against a murderous psychopath who also happened to be a doctor in the mental hospital. The night that Lacey was killed Mary was injured in a fire and the psychopathic doctor was killed by ghosts that only Mary could see.

Now Mary is trying to return to some semblance of a normal life. Her parents book a “camping” holiday out in the moors of Nettleby. This is not Mary’s idea of the ideal vacation. Staying in a caravan (known as an RV or trailer to those of us in North America) and being surrounded by old people does not sound like fun. At least Lacey will be with her. There are some advantages to having a ghost as your best friend.

I love the character of Lacey. She is a bundle of energy and even being dead doesn’t seem to have slowed her down. The author has done a terrific job of having Lacey’s vivacious personality come through.

Apart from seeing ghosts, Mary also sees “things”. “Standing like a scarecrow in the middle of a crop field, is one of THEM. Its skull shines through its face, and haunting sunken eyes stare at me, dark as night. A chill passes over my body. This is a warning.”
Mary calls them “things,” she sees them only when bad things are about to happen. She was institutionalized and drugged because of these visions, now she knows to pay attention to these warnings.

Shortly after arriving at the campground two very significant things happen. First, she meets Seth and second, she learns about the death of a young girl named Amy five years prior. Supposedly the little girl is killing men in revenge for her murder.

Mary, Seth and Lacey must find a way to banish Amy’s ghost before she kills again.

This book is expertly written with the perfect amount of gothic creepiness. The relationship between Mary and her ghost friend Lacey is a great addition.
The dynamics of living vs. dead and how that complicates their relationship are complex and compelling. Will Lacey become bitter over time? Is she jealous of Mary being alive? Is she jealous of Mary’s budding relationship with Seth? How could she not be jealous? But what exactly can Mary do about it?

The relationship between Mary and Seth comes about organically and readers will find themselves rooting for the two to become a couple. Seth is portrayed with the perfect amount of nice guy mixed with enough mystery and danger to make him exciting.

The writing is fast paced and the build up to the climax will have you on the edge if your seat.

This book is targeted to Young Adult readers, but adult readers will also enjoy this creepy tale and will look forward to reading more adventures including Mary Hades.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars.

There is a prequel novella available now and the second book in the series entitled “Posess” is also available.

Learn more about Sarah Dalton’s books at http://www.theblemished.com or at http://www.sarahdaltonbooks.com

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