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Between the next in the Lunar Chronicles, the Survivor Trilogy, and the Hunger Games Trilogy, I know what I will be reading for the next two years.  Add in the new Weirdsville series and I won’t have to ponder what book to read for two and half years.  And to be honest, I’m not so sure I’m happy about it.

I have a serious love/hate relationship with series.  I love series.  Series allow the characters to grow over time.  I become invested in the characters and want to know how each story will affect the overall tale and the characters individually.   I hate series.  Once I start a series I want to complete the entire series, which is fine if it is a trilogy. Beyond a trilogy… now I’m annoyed.  Pushing the boundaries of my investment to the stories are series with four or five novels.  Yes, I did read the entire Twilight Saga, which we all know contains four entire novels.  But by the end of the third I was asleep.  The characters and plot had exhausted my desire to know more.   I steer completely clear of series containing five or more.  Yes, that means I stopped at number two Harry Potter.   But series keep me coming back.  My love over takes the hate.  I am drawn to series.

So, Nearly Departed by Rook Hastings is the first in a new series about the supernatural and the life ever after.  Five individuals were assigned to work on a school project together. All unwilling to work together, they decide to make the most of it.  Little did they know they were destined to work together on everything, but the school assignment.  Emily, Bethan, Kelly, Hashim, and Jay all have something to gain by working together.  For some it is support.  For others it is popularity.  For one it is their life.

Emily lets the group in on a little secret.  She hears, but doesn’t really hear, ghosts in her house.  Destined to work together, they agree to go on a ghost hunt at Emily’s house.   As the night goes on strange things start happening.  After further review of the evidence their suspicions were confirmed.  Emily’s house contains a ghost.  But now what?

Strange things happen all over Woodsville, enough for the town’s members to nickname it Weirdsville.  The sky is constantly grey, and the sun never shines.  They start to think the ghost is just part of living in Woodsville.  It comes with the territory.  Having been built on an ancient rainforest the town’s people grow accustom to blaming the weirdness on the town’s dark past.  Despite this belief, Bethan, Kelly, Hashim, and Jay set out to help Emily.  Through the experiences and excitement they form a friendship, and end up helping more than Emily.  Each find out what they need was different than what they wanted.  Through helping Emily they realize the town is in need of the positive energy found in their new friendship.

I am already wondering how the next in the series will be able to continue the suspense and determination of Nearly Departed.   I love being able to pick up a new novel, already having pieces of the characters’ background.  With that knowledge I am instantly part of that series’ club.  I belong to the series until the end… unless it goes over four novels.  I have to draw the line somewhere.


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