The 2013 Story Contest Winners are finally posted!
First Place: Flame, by Desmond Warzel | Second place: Eros, by Taylor R. Genovese | Third Place: Reality Sucks, by Tori and Giulio Lisi
Search Book Reviews:
Author/Editor Name
Book Title
Browse Book Reviews
Book Reviews Home
Browse by Author
Browse by Editor
Browse by Reviewer
Book Genres
Books by Rating
Publication Year
See Them All
Total Book Reviews 1,479
SFReader Extras
SFReader Story Contest
Contest Winners
Movie Reviews
Interviews
Suspended Animation
Firebrand Fiction
Articles
News/EventsArticles
SFReader Info
How to Get Reviewed

Genre
Modern/Urban Fantasy
Publisher
Fire Mountain Press
Year Published
2003
Review Posted on
2/19/2004
Reviewer Rating
No Stars!
Reader Rating
7 out of 10

A Ghost Among Us, by Debora ElizaBeth Hill
Reviewed by Paul Goat Allen

If you've read this book, why not

From the moment I picked up A Ghost Among Us, I was overcome with a sick sense of literary foreboding. It was almost as if a ghost was whispering to me, "beware a very bad book...." I try not to judge a book by its cover but in some cases it's just inescapable. The author's name on the front cover is listed as Debora Hill. The spine of the book states that the author is Debora Eliza Beth Hill. On the back cover, Debora ElizaBeth Hill is the author. Three different versions of the same name. I thought to myself, "Either the author is schizophrenic or someone doesn't care very much about the quality of this book." I took a deep breath and began to read...

...and was almost instantly offended. In the first few chapters, the author calls Arab men 'assholes' ("...and twice she took a swing at one of the swaggering, splashily-dressed young [Arab] bucks who paraded Queensway...What self-respecting Moslem male would admit to having his nose broken by a woman? But Charlotte knew it was just a matter of time before she wound up dead or killed by one of the assholes.") and describes the United States as filled with bigots and women-haters ("America was beginning to scare her -- she wanted to become an expatriate, and watch it thrashing about like a whale on the sands from as long a distance as possible. It hurt her to realize that the freaks and the fanatics were taking over... She would hurt for those left behind -- those at the mercy of the women-hating, power-hungry bigots who longed to have women under their power again...").

The plot -- a totally weak and unoriginal storyline about three women moving into an English house inhabited by a ghost -- becomes secondary at this point as the unbelievable slurs pile up -- towel heads, fags, etc. No ethnicity, religious or economic group is safe from the author's snide remarks -- British mechanics, civil servants, fundamentalists and scientists all suffer the author's wrath. On several occasions, I wanted to just throw the book down in revulsion and walk away but I continued on in hopes of finding some redeeming quality.

The main characters -- three professional women -- are all two-dimensional and the storyline sadly uninspired until the women meet the ghost of the manor, Sir Jerome Kennington. Once Kennington's story begins to unfold -- a kind of murder mystery/love story -- the pacing and overall quality of writing starts to pick up. But just as that plot line begins picking up steam, the story totally goes off the rails with a subplot about saving animals from a London university laboratory. And the slurs return in full force. The university researchers are described as "maniacs torturing small animals" and "greedy, insensitive fascists."

With the help of the three women, the poor little kittens and puppies are freed from the laboratory and Kennington does eventually figure out who killed him but at that point all I cared about was getting to the end of the book. I love reading and collecting books and have never thrown a book away -- until A Ghost Among Us. The totally needless slurs were just too much to take and absolutely ruined the story before it even had a chance. The key to any novel is to captivate the reader on an emotional level with characters that they can empathize with but it's hard to accomplish that when the reader is struggling with terms like towel heads, women-haters and fascists throughout the entire book.

Paul Goat Allen is the editor of Barnes & Noble's Explorations science fiction/fantasy book review and is the author of Burning Sticks, Old Winding Way and Warlock Dreams.
A Ghost Among Us, by Debora ElizaBeth Hill on Amazon

A Ghost Among Us, by Debora ElizaBeth Hill on Amazon





Add a comment on A Ghost Among Us, by Debora ElizaBeth Hill
Your Name:
Comment:
Type (case sensitive) here:
Comments on A Ghost Among Us, by Debora ElizaBeth Hill
There are no comments on this book.
Follow on Twitter
SFReader on Facebook
Top Rated Books
At The Orange Blossom Cafe-by Bobbi Sinha-Morey
At The Orange Blossom Cafe

by Bobbi Sinha-Morey
Newest Movie Reviews
Those Dang Google Ads
home page | books: by author - by editor - by genre - by reviewer - by rating - by year | all books | firebrand fiction | how to get reviewed |
  All contents Copyright 2000-2014, SFReader.com