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Review: Deception (Haunting Emma) by Lee Nichols

Deception (Haunting Emma) by Lee Nichols
Published by Bloomsbury
Source: Review Copy

When Emma Vaile’s parents go missing while away on a mysterious business trip, she’s left all alone in her creepy old house. But her brother’s very cute best friend, Bennett Stern—Emma’s knight in J. Crew armor—arrives unexpectedly to whisk her away to New England. There, Emma settles into his family’s museum-like mansion and enrolls at an old-fashioned private school. She quickly finds friends in the popular legacy crowd at Thatcher and spends her free time crushing on Bennett. But the eerie visions she’s been hiding from everyone have gotten worse. Emma has memories of Thatcher that she can’t explain—it’s as if she’s returning home to a place she’s never been. Finally, Emma confides in Bennett and learns she is a ghostkeeper, a person who can communicate with ghosts. Bennett brought Emma to Thatcher to protect her, but now he needs her help tracking an other-worldly murderer.

Deception is the first book in the Haunting Emma series. It had a likable main character and set up loads of interesting ideas I can't wait to find out more about it future books.

At the start of the book you are introduced to Emma. I loved Emma as a character and really felt for her. Her family have gone off to who knows where leaving her alone in her house filled to the brim with creepy artifacts. She throws a party which is busted by the police and the next thing she knows she ends up being moved half way across the country to live her her new "guardian" a friend of her brother's who is barely older than her in a weird old museum. On top of this she has to start a new school and she think she is seeing ghosts. Surely all this is enough to make a girl lose the plot entirely. What I liked about Emma is that apart from the occasional (and totally justified freak out) she holds it all together taking all these things in her stride as she starts to find her place in all this never ending chaos.

As the book progresses it is revealed that Emma is not in fact crazy (as her parents had lead her to believe) but is actually a ghostkeeper and actually quite a powerfully unique one at that. She takes this quite well for someone who has spent most of her life being told it is all in her head and works hard to juggle practising her new skills with a teenage social life in order to fit in at her new school with her new friends.

I really enjoyed the scenes where Emma tries to come to grips with her powers in particular the ones where she practises sword fighting in a ballroom. I also liked how Emma explored more of her family history and started to find out about the mysterious Painting she was shown at her school which was 100 years old but looked exactly like her and had the same name at the bottom.

As the story progresses Emma faces several challenges which stretch her Ghostkeeper abilities to the limits and forces her to make some tough decisions which she is not fully happy with. The story when it kicks off is fast paced and interesting and sets up several ideas which are not fully explored in this book but I am hoping are dealt with in future instalments.

All in all an interesting first novel in a series which has the potential to be good. I certainly hope it delivers.


KelliumSims said…
I have this one coming to me soon and I'm really looking forward to reading it :)
SisterSpooky said…
i really loved this story and the second book was just as good!
I was kind of on the fence about starting this series, but I'm loving all of the positive reviews of it that I keep reading. Makes me intrigued.