Rage’s Echo by J.S. Bailey Publisher: Tate Publishing Copy provided by Author
Ok, now that all the disclaimers are out of the way, here’s the review!
Jessica Roman-Dell is a paranormal investigator (read ghost hunter) with a problem. Nope, it’s not that she spent all of her money on her ghost hunting equipment and has nothing in reserve. Nope, it’s not that she’s lost her job and had to move in with her ex-coworker and a long time friend. It seems that Jessica has found a ghost, and, like the proverbial puppy dog, it followed her home. Jerry Madison, the ghost, has found a way to communicate with an adult human being and seems to have found that he likes having a friend – a little too much. Jerry begins to show signs of jealousy and possessiveness when it comes to Jessica and soon her house-mates Sidney and Wayne begin to see Jerry or feel the effects of his presence in bad ways.
As time goes on, we learn that Jerry is not just a human-infatuated ghost whose fascination with Jessica would be cute, had it not bordered on stalking. Jessica is torn between caring for Jerry and not really caring for any kind of relationship with him as a long covered up desire to be with Wayne begins to come to the surface. We soon learn that Jerry has a deep dark secret. He isn’t ready to “pass” to the after-life because he believes his destination would be hell because of that secret. As a result, the relationship with Jessica becomes more dangerous and lives are at stake as he slowly takes control of the relationship. As the story continues we discover that Jerry is not the only one with secrets as Wayne, the friend who owns the home has his secrets as do Jessica’s hated parents. Does Jerry get a chance to deal with his own personal demons? Can Jessica ever break free of Jerry? Will Jessica and Wayne ever get together? Will Jessica and her parents reconcile?
In small town, America everyone knows each other and knows each other’s business. It’s important to understand that when you get to the end of the book. As the book wraps up the relationships that bring all of the characters together are vital as they help you understand the plot. Slowly deep dark secrets are revealed as we come to the climax of the story; but will those secrets destroy or help the relationships?
I have to admit that when I heard that Rage’s Echo was a ghost story, I was very leery of reading the book. The only reason I agreed to read and review was that I had developed a friendship with the author, J. S. Bailey and she sent me a free autographed review copy. That being said I found this book intriguing, exciting and gripping. I had to put it down early enough so I didn’t read it too close to bed time because it is, after all, a ghost story. But more than a ghost story, it’s a story about relationships; how they go wrong and how they grow. How do our sins affect the way we deal with each other? How does our background affect the people we befriend? If we can’t accept ourselves, how can we expect others to love us as we are? Bailey touches on all of these issues in this book and soon the story becomes ours, if we think deeply enough, as we confront the ghosts of our own past.
I make a point of not posting reviews of books that I can’t recommend. I can recommend Rage’s Echo highly. Buy it! It’s labeled as “Christian Speculative Fiction.” What does that mean? If you are into ghost stories, you will enjoy this book. If you aren’t into ghost stories, though, there is a lot to like about this book, especially from a Christian perspective. It is not meant to be a theological reference work. It does talk a lot about being truthful with those we love. It does talk about building relationships and how important it is to develop strong relationships with friends and family. Most of all, it does all these things wrapped around a great story and a believable premise.
Rage’s Echo is available now from the author (look her up on Facebook) and from the publisher (Tate Publishing). Here’s the secret: officially the sales start on Amazon on October 1, so you can get a pre-release copy by contacting the author or the publisher. If you want to wait until the official release date you can pre-order it from Amazon. The Kindle Edition is available to pre-order now at http://www.amazon.com/Rages-Echo-ebook/dp/B00DOAX9CO/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_3 the paperback version should be available soon and it will be released just in time for Halloween.