Published Date: November 2019
Publishing Co.: Midnight Grasshopper Books
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Alex Bentley is a ghost therapist. She helps spirits move onto whatever afterlife exists. People hire her to rid themselves of troublesome ghosts that are effecting business or driving the living person insane. Her latest case pulls her to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. What at first appears to be your average restless spirit turns into a missing persons case. The police have put in virtually zero effort in finding missing teenage boys, instead just labeling them drug addicts and runaways. The rumors in the small town even point to Native American folklore as the possible culprit.
This book is absolutely fine if you take it for what it is. A paranormal mystery with minimum world building and fairly two dimensional characters. There is a possible love triangle and some insta-love happening and isn’t that the formula for a million urban fantasies out there?
As someone who helped start a small business, I find her complete lack of business sense annoying. She’ll jet off to help someone with no guarantee of getting paid or getting paid much more than it’s costing her. She’s flying to other states, spending days at a time, coming home and having barely any money to show for it. She’s on the brink of losing everything, yet she does it again. You can point out that you can’t put a price on doing what you love, but when you’re the only known ghost therapist, you can literally put a price tag on it.
All the action parts were sparse, easily handled and over almost immediately. Even drawing out more detail of an eventual trial would have provided some well needed depth.
What this book needs is more fleshing out. More world building, more character building and progression, and more descriptions of virtually everything. At times you went from being inside the character’s mind frame to the character addressing you as if you were an audience or they were writing a letter. Anytime that Alex thought anything remotely deep that might resound with the reader, it was pointed out how serious and dark things were getting in her head and she tried to lighten the mood with some quip.
There is a lot of potential here for a great urban fantasy if the author worked out a few of these kinks. Otherwise, it’s fine but not something I’ll run around recommending to my friends.
9 thoughts on “Missing in Michigan (Alex Bentley #1) – Book Review”
Oooh I like paranormal
Well this isn’t one I would suggest wasting your time on. There are far better series out there.
Being a native Michigander, I always get excited to find Michigan-themed or set books, mainly because the state is unique in that it has a ton of land, but it’s also surrounded by water. It’s very urban, but can also be as remote as Alaska. This book just sounds like a bummer drag. A Michigan book should have a solid sense of setting.
That might one of the funner things about this book is the setting. It’s set in Munising and Isle Royale. However, I think the next book is set in Paris so that’s one more mark against it. Michigan really is a great back drop for any book because of all those reasons you listed.
Oh, that is waaaaay up there in the UP. If the story dialect didn’t match the UP, I’d be miffed.
Still in the process of reading this one, but I can see what you mean 100%. I still plan on finishing it though since it’s such a short read. 🙂
I think it took me 2 hours start to finish. I read over half in one sitting, did some chores, came back and pounded out the rest. I’m actually really glad it was a short read or I don’t know if I would have gotten it done in time.
Yeah, I agree. I won’t be making it to book club but I did want to finish the book at least (which I did yesterday). Now that I’m finished I can definitely say I still agree with your review. The book left me wanting more, but not in the way that makes me want to read the next book. I wanted more worldbuilding/character depth/etc. Some things felt way too rushed, too, like her insta-love and the whole court room scene was just too convenient. I was going to give it 3 stars when I was around mid-way through the book, but the end made me drop it down to 2 or 2.5.
That was the same here about giving it a 3 and then dropping lower after the ending. It felt more like a rough draft of a book.