Last year, Katie (I think I should start going by Brumhilda to avoid confusion because our names on this site are ridiculous) reviewed Kimberly Derting’s The Body Finder, which, by the way, I had recommended to her. Because I managed to buy Desires of the Dead first (another early shelf find), I laid first claim this time. But, much like my review of The Vespertine, this whole being a lawyer thing got in the way of posting this when I wanted to. And gosh how I wanted to. Because I loved this book just as much as its predecessor, even if I didn’t love the cover as much.
In Desires of the Dead, Violet still hears echoes. The dead still call out to her, desperate to rest in peace. And, as in The Body Finder, Violet can’t rest until the dead do. Only this time, Violet’s secret is out. When a body calls to her from the bowels of a shipping container on the docks of Seattle, she can’t stop until someone finds it. But her desperate quest leads to her discovery and as everything she’s held close starts to unravel for her, Violet is suddenly faced with big choices and nowhere to turn.
Much like The Body Finder, the plot of this book was incredibly well executed. The mystery point of view, which I’m not a huge fan of, worked well here – better even than it did in the first installment. The mystery is mysterious enough that most readers won’t guess the full extent of it immediately. But, at the same time, enough hints are dropped that you can piece it together so that you don’t end up smacked in the face by the big reveal. This really helped the pacing, because hints are dropped at intervals so that just when you need one, it’s there to help you keep up.
When I read The Body Finder, a big part of the appeal for me was the best friends to more plotline. I’m 100% a sucker for this plot, and Body Finder was a great, great example. I was so afraid that Desires of the Dead would do what so many other YAs seem to be doing and flush all that development down the toilet, but it didn’t. It grew Violet’s relationship with Jay in a very believable way. I liked that they weren’t sunshine and roses all the time because few transitions from friendship to more work that way. But I also liked that they were still best friends even as they were more, even if the idea of being so confused them both. Now, there might be a potential roadblock for them in the next book, but I’m going to keep on hoping that I’m wrong on this one. Because I love Jay. Jay is a guy without being a jerk, which is another rarity lately (though, ok, I’m a sucker for a jerk in a book too).
The only thing about this book I didn’t love was how Violet’s family seemed a little absent. They were still awesome and there for her, true, and this might be my own expectations, but I thought they’d be a little more invested in what was going on with her…ability than they were. Maybe just because it was so obvious to me as a reader that Violet was struggling that I wanted them to notice too.
Overall, Desires of the Dead was just as suspenseful as The Body Finder, and it built on the great characters it had established in the first book. I’m both excited and nervous as hell about the next book. 2012…why so far away?