Thursday, 9 August 2012

Hacienda Moon by KaSonndra Leigh

Buy the book: Amazon US

Title: Hacienda Moon
Author: KaSonndra Leigh
Publisher: TriGate Group
Target Audience: Adult
Genre: Paranormal
Length: 280 pages

Story: Love, obsession, and betrayal, the most powerful human emotions, are spun together in this gothic novel. Tandie Harrison is a police medium who has just suffered a divorce after losing both her psychic visions and her daughter in a car accident. When she leaves New York City to start a new life near her hometown, she moves into the alluring plantation house, Chelby Rose, and falls for its charismatic caretaker, Eric Fontalvo. Their burgeoning affair ignites a centuries old curse, ensnaring them in a web of danger, deceit, and intrigue. Soon Tandie learns that in placid Bolivia, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected.

Hacienda Moon is a seductive tale of one woman’s journey to confront the demons of her past and find the courage to face her future. It is a mesmerizing novel that explores the deepest depths of human nature, and the characters will hold and haunt you long after you have read the final chapter.

Thoughts and impressions: As soon as I read the synopsis for this one, I was intrigued. I wanted to know more and so when the promo tour also offered six review copies, I immediately signed up for one of the six. I didn’t actually receive my copy until after the promo post (here) and I had a couple of other blog tour books to read before I could crack this one open, but I had itchy-finger-syndrome when it came to this one.
I cracked it open for the first time after having just finished another book of a very different genre. In hindsight, that wasn’t the best idea ever. I should have given myself some time to unwind from the first book before I cracked open this one. I also only allowed myself the time to read the prologue and things might have been different had I been able to immediately continue on to the first couple of chapters. The consequence of not doing so was that the prologue left me thrown and not entirely enraptured. This is my own fault, of course, and I suspect that my experience of starting the book would have been very different had I approached it differently.
It doesn’t help that I’ve been very busy recently, which meant that for the first few chapters I was only managing to snatch a chapter or two at a time rather than sitting down and reading a large chunk all at once (which is my preference). As a result of this style of reading, the story felt very slow-burning to me. This is not at all a bad thing. The author took her time to present each part of the story just as she wanted it to be presented, taking the reader down a dark path of confusing twists and turns and more than a few dead ends rather than rushing in to things head on.
There were certain things that were certainly confusing. At times I could tell that the person Tandie, the main character, was interacting with was not of our time. In fact, it seemed odd that she herself didn’t stop to question why on earth these people would be wearing period dress rather than jeans and a t-shirt. At other times I couldn’t figure out whether she was interacting with someone living or with one of the dead. These sorts of scenes really leant to the spooky feel that was gradually being built up in the story.
Right now I have a thing about ghosts in my paranormal / urban fantasy stories. They’re not as used and abused as vampires and werewolves (yet) which gives the author a little more leeway to make their ghosts relatable characters who are still unique in their own way. I liked all of the characters but one of the ghosts in particular (not naming names so people can deduce which of the characters are ghosts on their own should they choose to read the book). She was a chilling but fabulous character, very complex.
Though I had some reservations to begin with, the story soon smashed them all apart and turned out to be a gripping thrill ride. Well, I say thrill ride but I want to stress that it is slow burning. Things come together very slowly, but once all of the pieces are in place, it is definitely worth it! I really enjoyed the book.
Style: I noticed a tendency to repeat the same word sometimes rather than using synonyms. There were times when it felt like it verged a little too far on the tell instead of show side, but overall a style that I enjoyed.
Final verdict: A highly enjoyable ghost story that takes the time to draw the reader into the world created. 4 stars


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