Winner of 2014 Readers' Favorite Honorable Mention in Paranormal Fiction
After the tragic death of her parents, Dr. Grace Sullivan inherits more than she bargained for. An empty house she's never heard of, a nosy neighbor, and the restless spirits of a violent, century old murder.
A hard-nosed skeptic, Grace refuses to believe in ghosts despite hearing sounds and seeing things that can't be explained. When she unearths antique furniture from the basement, the spirits become agitated and dangerous. Ian Black and Alex Gallagher, a team of ghost hunters, come in to investigate.
Still denying the paranormal events in her home, Grace can't bring herself to take the ghost hunters or the psychic medium who teams up with them seriously. As Grace struggles with her grief and the feelings she's developing for headstrong Ian, the disturbing mystery of the house deepens. Now she'll have to face the unbelievable before the spirits claim her for their own.
Grace is devastated after the deaths of her parents. Struggling to combat depression, she travels to a house she has never heard of, but has now inherited, only to find it guarded by a pushy neighbor who is determined it is haunted. As though her opinion doesn't mean a thing, ghost hunters, Ian and Alex, are called in and soon a medium, Jackie, is at the house too, all investigating ghosts which Grace is not at all convinced exist. Though... those scratches in the furniture are a little spooky, and there's definitely something about the house that's getting under Grace's skin.
Oh, how I love a great gothic romance! There's something about the contrary emotions of falling in love and being freaked the hell out, that make for a fantastic story combo, but only if it's done well. Thankfully, So Fell the Sparrow strikes a great balance and had me hooked on all counts.
There are two romance story lines in So Fell the Sparrow, the main following Grace and Ian. Grace is a particularly troubled character, as the story begins not long after the deaths of her parents, as she struggles with severe grief and even depression. She's also just gotten out of a bad relationship, with a man who constantly tried to psychoanalyze her, thus making her mental health even more difficult to contend with. She's a doctor and a skeptic, and nothing like Ian who makes his livelihood as a ghost hunter. The two couldn't be more different and they are at each others' throats from the start. Despite their arguments, though, Ian's a really sweet hero and mostly just wants to look after Grace. They definitely have a difficult relationship, made no easier by the ghosts who are haunting them, but I was desperate for them to get over themselves and realize how much they care for each other.
The secondary romance is between Alex and Jackie, and while I would have liked to get to know Alex a little more, I think Jackie is the most interesting character in the story - probably one of the most interesting characters I've read in a while, actually. As a medium from a strict religious and abusive family background, she hasn't had an easy life. She's also had complicated and disturbing relationships which trickle into her present life and disrupt her and Alex's relationship, even as they are just beginning to get to know each other. Despite that, she's a kind, strong character, who really acts as this complex, intriguing glue to the whole story and the other characters.
Although the final resolution in So Fell the Sparrow is dependent on Ian and Grace's romance storyline, I think that this novel is, above all, a ghost story. And it's a good one too. It has all my favorite ghostly elements: a creepy house, skeptic and believers, ghosts, possession, murder, and best of all, a couple twists (yes more than one) that left me reeling. One of the things I particularly liked about this novel is that, just as there is nothing simple in the romance storylines, there is nothing black and white about the ghost storyline either. There are ghosts who are evil, but ghosts weren't
This is not at easy ghost story, nor a simple romance (though both romances have HFN endings!). Instead So Fell the Sparrow is a rather dark journey of four characters struggling with some pretty serious inner demons while they battle more or less tangible ghosts.
Whether you like dark journeys, ghost stories, romances, or all of the above, this is an extremely worthwhile and satisfying read.
So Fell the Sparrow by Katie Jennings is a paranormal romance, released on December 28, 2013. You can read an excerpt right here.
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So Fell the Sparrow by Katie Jennings - Book Excerpt