Review: “The Ghost Chronicles” by Marlo Berliner

A review by Domoni.

I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Michael is your average American Teenage Jock. He’s about to graduate from high school and go on to play basketball in college. He has taken on the role of man of the house since his father’s death two years previously. Michael tries to keep his younger brother in line and help his mom keep things running smoothly. He has a steady girlfriend of two years and he thinks he is invincible. He’s not though. Driving over to pick up his girlfriend Melissa, Michael’s Mustang is struck head on by a semi whose driver fell asleep at the wheel. Now Michael is dead but he hasn’t moved on.

This was a difficult story for me to get into. It was slow with not much direction. I didn’t like Michael from the beginning. He was a rather narcissistic character. There’s a scene early on where he’s getting ready to go pick up Melissa. He showers then dresses in his name brand shirt with his name brand cologne telling himself how he could have any girl he wants and how they all want to sleep with him, but he is a great guy because he is being patient with his girlfriend and not pressuring her into sex. Even after he is dead, Michael acts like the rules don’t apply to him and one of his stated regrets is not having sex with Melissa.

While trying to discover why he is still on earth, Michael meets a few other ghosts along the way. Tom is an older man who acts as a mentor to Michael, teaching him about how to travel and protect himself. Sarah is a young female ghost about Michael’s age that he spends time with and evolves into a relationship. Then there is Matt, a ghost that is turning demon, whose job it is to collect Michael and take him to hell. These characters are well defined and I enjoyed their interactions with Michael.

Tom tries to guide Michael and even takes him to meet The Elders. The Elders are like a governing body for spirits and they tell Michael the rules to being a ghost.  One of the main rules is not to fall in love with another ghost; Michael completely ignores this one. His relationship with Sarah develops intensely even though he knows this will keep her from moving on and could destroy them both.  

The author creates a vivid world around the characters but the story lacked a goal. I kept reading and waiting to see what the whole point was supposed to be. The ending was simply infuriating because nothing whatsoever was resolved or explained. It was the most awkward ending I have read in recent memory. Not a cliffhanger or anything resembling closure, it just ended like the book was missing another chapter or five.

My rating: 2/5 stars.

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