Friday, 26 April 2013

Review: The Body Finder Series 1-3 by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Body Finder
Author: Kimberly Derting
Author Info: Website|Blog|Twitter|Facebook
Genre: Young Adult
Series: The Body Finder
Source: Purchased by myself

Tell Me About It
Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

My Thoughts
I want to start off this review by saying that I have had The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead sitting on my shelf for year, possibly two. The incentive to read it came from receiving a copy of Dead Silence for review. Since I am sure most of you have read these books by now then I will skip the usual brief introduction I do and jump straight into my review itself.

Violet senses dead bodies by their echo, either by noise, smell, taste in her mouth or just a feeling, and has done for as long as she can remember. Each echo has their own distinctive echo, no two are the same. The person who is responsible for their death also carries an imprint, and exact replica of the echo to identify the murderer. Only her family and her best friend Jay know of this ability.

Being able to help the dead by using her gift is great for those missing the person, but when it suddenly gets too close for comfort when is the right time to take a step back and say 'that's is, I'm done'. I admire Violet for having the confidence and the balls to volunteer and help search for missing people, even knowing that if she does find them they won't be alive or in exactly good shape. I liked that each echo and imprint is different and getting to experience them through Violet's eyes made it that much more 'real'. The last imprint she feels is very intriguing, in fact I have already begun reading Desires of the Dead as I type us this rough draft that will be magically transformed will spell check to make my review.

I love Violet's small group of friends and Chelsea had me laughing out loud at some of the things she says. She is completely opposite to Violet in every way, yet they make a great friendship. The building tension between Jay and Violet was fun to read, knowing what Violet is feeling but not really knowing what Jay is feeling, and then having to rely on body language to connect the dots made it more interesting.

I am starting to question my TBR shelf, the books I have put off reading have been amazing reads, and now I am wondering how much I have missed out on by not reading this book, or another book sooner.  Finishing the first two books in the series has certainly made me want to make more of an effort to make my way through my TBR shelf.  The Body Finder is a must read for anyone.

Desires of the Dead

Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.
My Thoughts
Desires of the Dead has less body finding than The Body Finder, but is just as gripping.  We are introduced to a few new faces.  Mike and Megan who are siblings and attend Violet's school, and Sara Priest, an F.B.I agent and the mysterious Rafe.
Violet and Jay are still together, and I love how they interact with each other, and while they do have some lovey dovey moments, they also include their friends with a lot of things to make sure they don't feel left out.

I loved the mystery of Desires of the Dead, with someone stalking Violet and leaving notes of dead animals behind as a message, the initial suspect that Violet picked was one who I picked way sooner than she did, and just like her was partly wrong in my guess.  When the truth was finally revealed I felt sorry for the people involved with it, but it also explains why they acted the way they did.

Violet has also decided to let others know what she can do, but not give all the details yet,  sharing her gift must have been tough, trying so hard to keep it hidden from others and now all of a sudden being able to share it with someone.  Rafe adds a new spin on things and I never guessed what he could do.  I am happy that now Violet has someone who is like her, but also hesitant to jump in and like him straight away.

Desires of the Dead was just as much of a page turner as The Body Finder was and I am glad I have the next book waiting to be read.

The Last Echo

In the end, all that's left is an Echo.

Before, Violet's morbid ability to sense the dead led her to uncover dark murders and long-buried secrets in her small town. Now that she's working with a special investigative team, Violet hopes she can help even more people--whether by saving a life or catching a killer.

Although she's relieved to finally be honest about what she can do, her instant connection with her mysterious partner, Rafe, is both confusing and unsettling, and their unique bond creates tension with her boyfriend, Jay. When she discovers the body of a college student murdered by "the collector," Violet refuses to give up on the case. With her own relationship on the line, Violet doesn't realize that the serial killer is looking to add to his collection and that she may have caught his eye. Will the life Violet has to save be her own?
My Thoughts
The Last Echo picks up two months after Desires of the Dead, Violet is working with Sara and Rafe, helping them find bodies as part of a small team while still attending school.
As I reach the third book in the series it starts to hit home how difficult it must be for Violet just to live everyday, seeing the imprints left behind on other people, even if its just an accidental road kill, it can't be easy and it really show how tough she is.
We are also introduced to more new faces, members of the same team as Violet who also have their own abilities.  Sam has the ability of Psychometry, Rafe has the ability of Precognition, Krystal is a Medium, and Gemma is an Empath.

As The Last Echo progress we learn more about this small group and why they act the way they do and what background they come from.  Each story was interesting and each individual comes from different backgrounds.  Violet has a few close calls in The Last Echo, and each time I thought 'this is it, it all ends now' but then it turns out to be something different and once again I am on edge waiting for it to all fall down.  One thing that I am really liking is how Violet is finding clues by good old investigative skills and not her body finding gift.  Finding all the little pieces and trying to connect all the dots requires a lot of work but Violet isn't one to quit and carries on not matter what happens.
One person who I have come to dislike is Dr Lee, and I have suspicions that my feelings will not improve in the next book.

The ending of The Last Echo had me feeling very nervous, knowing that there was another book after this made me feel better with Violets chances of survival, but still had me wondering how she would survive.  So far this has to be my favourite book out of them all, but it also points out how much I would not like to have her ability.

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