WOOFER'S LAIR

Welcome to Woofer's Lair. Curious as to what you will see here? Well, for the most part, you will find book reviews, maybe the occasional movie review, and if you are lucky, you might stumble across one of my own works in progress. If you like what you see or what read, and even if you don't, please feel free to leave your comments. As I am somewhat new to blogging, all of your constructive feedback is appreciated. Have fun and thanks for stopping by.

Wicked Seasons

Wicked Seasons
My short story, HUNGRY FOR MORE, is included

CURRENTLY READING

CURRENTLY READING
Koji Suzuki's Spiral

Thursday, January 3, 2013

WHO YOU GONNA CALL? GHOST TRACKERS!

The first time I learned SyFy was airing a show called Ghost Hunters, I remember being so excited. I mean, as a kid, that's what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be the next Hans Holzer. I couldn't wait to see it. And half way through it, I remember thinking, What a crock of shit! I know, I know. It's SyFy. But still... So when I saw that Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson teamed up with Tim Waggoner (author of Pandora Drive and Darkness Wakes, the only Waggoner books I've read to date), to write what promises to be a supernatural series, I groaned. Literally. I know Tim can write, but what was he thinking teaming up with these jokers? Were they doing novelizations of their "cases"? If so, I figured they would be good for a laugh. I could already hear the dialogue in my head: Did you see that?, What was that?, Did you hear that?, with nothing manifesting. If you've ever seen their show, you'll know what I'm talking about. Curiosity got the better of me, so I investigated further and read the jacket copy — and it didn't sound bad at all. In fact, it kinda reminded me of my own teenage years when I wanted to go poking around the supposedly haunted houses in my neighborhood. So... Against my better judgement, I took the plunge and bought it.

Fifteen years ago, three friends who shared an interest in the paranormal ventured into the infamous Lowry House. What happened while they were in there was so traumatic, they were robbed not only of their memories of that night, but also huge blocks of their high school memories.  But whatever happened that night runs far deeper. Amber never fully recovered. She's plagued by nightmares, keeps herself heavily medicated, and can't seem to hold down a steady job. Drew, a psychologist, entered his chosen field with an ulterior motive — that somewhere along the way, while treating his patients, he would find the key to unlock his own lost memories. Trevor continues his pursuit of the paranormal with the hopes that a chance encounter will trigger the lock box in his mind and allow his memories to be rediscovered. That night in Lowry House, something else was lost as well, the chain that bound the three friends together. After that night, they drifted apart.

One night, a voice from their past reaches out to Amber. A fellow misfit, Greg, calls her and invites her to attend their 15 year high school reunion. She's reluctant at first, but before she can talk herself out of it, she's reaching for the phone and reconnecting with her old friends, friends she hasn't spoken to since that night.

From the moment they arrive, it's obvious that whatever entity traumatized them as teenagers isn't finished with them. Nothing overtly frightening, more like a cat playing with a mouse. Some of their memories start to filter back to them, but not nearly enough to prepare them for what's to come. Will they recover their memories in time, or will the evil of Lowry House, even though the house itself no longer stands, finish what it started 15 years ago?

One of the problems you have when dealing with a book like this is you never know just how much the known author, in this case, Waggoner, had to do with it. Did he do a majority of the writing, or did the television personalities do the writing with the author only on hand to offer suggestions and help shape things up?  Without knowing the answers to these questions, I went into Ghost Trackers not expecting much, and sometimes it's best going in with minimal expectations. This way I wouldn't be disappointed if it sucked too much, and I'd be pleasantly surprised if it turned out better than expected. I'm happy to say, I was pleasantly surprised, to the point where I did not want to put it down. I usually go to bed between 3 and 4 am, and some nights (mornings?) the sun was starting to shine through my bedroom window and I was still reading. I had to force myself to put it aside so I could get a couple of hours sleep before starting work for the day.

The story flowed evenly and at a rapid pace, and I couldn't help but be swept up in the events as they unraveled, even if, at times, it felt like I was watching one of those cheesy SyFy Original Feature Films. The Biology Lab scene actually had me chuckling because I was having mental flashes of Haunted High. If you've seen it, you'll know what I'm talking about. The characters, for the most part, are fully fleshed out, believable, and likable. The only thing that didn't sit well with me was the ending; it was a little too sentimental, almost as if the book was being targeted for a Young Adult audience. I even had an "Awwww" moment — for the BIG BAD GHOST!! And while plausible for the novel, the ending came across as a little too contrived. Another "Awwwwwwwww" moment here.

Problematic ending aside, I enjoyed Ghost Trackers and intend to read the next in the series. If you enjoy genuinely creepy ghost stories, I would highly recommend picking up this one.


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