Author: E.J. Stevens
Publisher: Sacred Oaks Press
Release: September 9, 2010 and January 1, 2011
Length: 165 pages and 210 pages
Age Group: Young Adult
Recommend: Jennifer says, “It truly is a brilliant series beginning.”
Review by Jennifer
She Smells the Dead Book 1 Spirit Storm Book 2
Being a teenager can suck. Being a teenager with paranormal gifts can really suck. Yuki is a senior in high school who has an uncanny sense of smell. She smells the dead. That’s right she senses ghosts through scent. That alone makes this series interesting.
In these first two books Yuki is learning about her spirit gifts. Her best friend Cal, who becomes her boyfriend, has his own issues that he has to work through. Together Yuki and Cal will weather anything that the spirit world has to offer. Emma is Yuki’s other best friend who brings reason and balance. Emma is the polar opposite of Yuki from the way they dress to the way they respond to things. Another character, Simon, is helping Cal as he deals with his issues. He also is there to help Yuki understand how to control her spirit gift and not let it control her. Simon is a funny, quick witted, hot guy who gets under Emma’s skin. I’m interested to see where their quips lead them.
There were many things I liked about this story. The first thing that had me loving this series was the cover art. I love the covers of both of these books. The cover for She Smells the Dead is a striking cover that features only Yuki. The cover for Spirit Storm has a little more detail that hints at what’s to come in the story. Both are simple but appealing. The story itself was an enjoyable quick read. It is told from Yuki’s point of view but the reader gets to also witness Yuki’s inner monologue. She makes witty comments on the things she is telling to the reader.
The story also offers a level of mystery. Since Yuki smells the dead she doesn’t actually see them or talk to them. This makes figuring out what they want a little difficult so, with the awesome research skills of her friend Emma and the internet she has resources, to help her. She also is getting in tune with the spirit side and she gets clues from her dreams. I was pleasantly surprised that in the story, Emma used the library for research. She scoured books and used microfiche while Yuki relied on internet. Yuki even comments that Emma was able to find more information from her research. As a teacher this bit of story detail stood out to me since I have seen the decline in research skills among students. It makes the story more believable that the characters use all resources available to help them figure things out.
To add a level of reality to the story Yuki still goes to school every day even though paranormal activity is creeping up on her. There is a nice balance of reality and paranormal to make this story work. It truly is a brilliant series beginning. Book 3 is scheduled to release Fall 2011.