Aw, Meg Cabot, how I love your books – even your weakest books are fun to read, and this book was far from week.
If you’ve been around here at all, you know that I love her Mediator series. Those six books about the great Susannah Simon are amazing, and even though I know I read them for the first time back in middle or high school, it’s hard to remember a time when Suze, along with great characters such as Jesse, Father Dominic, David, and Gina, weren’t in my literary lives.
Now, I came into this book with two things – I’ve read all of the series, including the new prequel that shows Suze and Jesse getting engaged, and I reread the whole series right before getting to this book. So, I came into this book with a lot of background knowledge, which means I can’t really tell you if this is a good adult book to read by itself without knowing the YA books. I think you’d be fine, but I could definitely be wrong, so just letting you know, on the off chance that you haven’t read the YA books (although you should, if you’re a smart person who loves good books).
Anyway, back to this book. There’s a good combination of old favorites as well as new elements and characters. For instance, the Ackerman clan has grown, and Suze is now Aunt Suze, to three terrifying triplet girls who fit into the story in an interesting way. Unfortunately for me, I accidentally saw a freaking spoiler about them, but hopefully you’ll go into this story without knowing this particular spoiler, although you might be able to see it coming. I like the fact that Suze’s relationships with her stepbrothers have evolved a bit, especially with Brad, who was always the least likeable Ackerman (but in such an entertaining way). Sadly, Suze’s mom and stepfather Andy aren’t in the story as much – perhaps a sequel for more Simon-Ackerman hijinks as well as a bigger Gina story, which I believe I read somewhere got cut a bit because there was so much else going on in this story.
The ghost mystery at the center of this book is definitely darker than some of the earlier ones. This time around, Suze meets a high school student who’s being haunted by a terrifying little ghost girl who has no qualms about nearly drowning poor Suze if she thinks Suze is against her. It was interesting trying to figure out the mystery and learn more about this poor, strong, and terrifying girl. It was nice to see that Suze was still doing her best to help ghosts while still being an adult and using some strange new acronyms (I can’t remember the exact term, but it kind of annoyed me, actually – just call them ghosts, why did you randomly stop calling them that?).
It was interesting to see how Suze made the transition from a high schooler to a young adult who’s still an adult. She throws around a lot more curse words, which I found quite entertaining, actually. She’s also quite obsessed with bedding her old-fashioned fiance, which can also be entertaining when he’s trying to keep her from shoving him down on the nearest horizontal surface and having her way with him. They’re still quite adorable together, but I continue to find the Suze-Paul relationship interesting. Paul seemed a lot slimier, but maybe that’s because this is an adult book and his come-ons towards Suze talk about sex more plainly. He’s definitely not a likeable character, but he can be an entertaining one.
As of right now, I don’t know if Meg Cabot is going to write another adult entry in this series, but I sure hope she does. This series continues to be one of the strongest that she’s written and I will never not want to read about Suze’s adventures, ghostly and romantic alike.
Position: Book Seven in the Mediator series
You can take the boy out of the darkness.
But you can’t take the darkness out of the boy.
All Susannah Simon wants is to make a good impression at her first job since graduating from college (and since becoming engaged to Dr. Jesse de Silva). But when she’s hired as a guidance counselor at her alma mater, she stumbles across a decade-old murder, and soon ancient history isn’t all that’s coming back to haunt her. Old ghosts as well as new ones are coming out of the woodwork, some to test her, some to vex her, and it isn’t only because she’s a mediator, gifted with second sight.
What happens when old ghosts come back to haunt you?
If you’re a mediator, you might have to kick a little ass.
From a sophomore haunted by the murderous specter of a child to ghosts of a very different kind—including Paul Slater, Suze’s ex, who shows up to make a bargain Suze is certain must have come from the Devil himself—Suze isn’t sure she’ll make it through the semester, let alone to her wedding night. Suze is used to striking first and asking questions later. But what happens when ghosts from her past—including one she found nearly impossible to resist—strike first?