- See more at: http://myblogrtricks.blogspot.com/2014/07/how-to-show-post-title-before-blog.html#sthash.p9yUfIwF.dpuf

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Amy Flint's Shadows in the Mist is Powerfully Fun

Antagonistic colleagues,

Restless spirits, 


Angry, telekinetic mothers that teleproject?!

No worries. Porter Biggleswade is on the job and ready for anything.

Shadows in the Mist is the first book within the Porter Biggleswade series, paranormal fiction by Amy Flint.

So what's it about?

Porter Biggleswade has just accepted a position with the Paranormal Investigation Unit, or PIU, within All Saints University in York. A famous paranormal researcher, she's known for looking at each case with a careful eye, and being able to tell true hauntings from fictitious ones. 
Of course, a large part of that is due to the fact that she can actually see ghostly apparitions, plain as day. Called the Shadow Reader, Biggleswade is who you call when you've lost all hope of a more logical, reasonable explanation for strange occurrences. 
And with a jealous and ghostly author, a mean and unreasonable old woman, and some glow in the dark sheep on her hands, she has her work cut out for her.

The first word that comes to mind when I think about this ebook is fun. 

While Porter Biggleswade herself has a rather dry personality, she's surrounded by a wealth of interesting people that end up getting her into all kinds of crazy situations. A bit of a loner, and quite content to be one, very often she's dragged into social situations that end up becoming quite colorful.

Of course, that's the sort of thing that happens when you have a flatmate that sells magical crystals, a drunken mother, and a hostile colleague with a mind to make you as miserable as possible.

Biggleswade also has a fine assortment of cases to keep her busy. When she's not trying to figure out what's making Charlotte Bronte's bedroom into a disaster zone (Yes, that Charlotte Bronte), or why employees at a new development are being harrassed by visions of people within a quarry that had been filled in long before any of them were born, she's trying to discover why a living woman appears to be haunting her daughter.

And don't even get me started on the glow-in-the-dark sheep she has to investigate...

Yep. She's one busy person. Thankfully, she has a workaholic student intern to help her out. The dynamic between Porter Biggleswade and her intern, Clarice, is quite interesting. Often, Clarice appears to be the grounding force within Biggleswade's life, ensuring the investigator stays on task, while helping out with the overwhelming workload.

Flint created some amazing and entertaining characters, but more than that, they all had substance to them. I never once doubted that they were 'real.' Dialogue flowed smoothly, and felt very much like real conversation. Enough so that I think it's very possible she spoke each line before typing. 

Just to make sure it felt true.

Seriously. I didn't have to reread a single piece of dialogue so that I could feel where the inflection was supposed to be. I just knew. Nor did I ever think, "This person wouldn't say this." I didn't have to.

Each personality was unique, and nothing was misphrased.

Formatting, on the other hand, needed some work. I often discovered lines that didn't wrap appropriately. What I mean by that, is that instead of finding, say, the word 'there' on a single line, I'd find it chopped up with the 't' on one line, and 'here' on the next. Very distracting.


In the author's defense, it may have just been a flaw in the copy I was reading - it was a free review copy, so there's a high chance that this error was fixed in the published version. If you read the amazon sample, you'll be able to see if that's the case.

I also felt that the story ended too abruptly, with a few too many loose ends. There is a sequel, of course, so I'm sure those loose ends will be tied up, but I would have appreciated it if things were tidied up a bit more than they were.

Or perhaps that's just my need for an end-of-story cooldown talking. It's possible.

Even with that, however, this book was well worth reading. I was never bored, and I felt as though I was listening in on true conversations as they happened. Flint's command of dialogue is superb.

Shadows in the Mist can be found on Kindle, and Nook.