Friday, July 17, 2009

Book 3 of the Summer Reading Book Challenge

Book 3: Gilda Joyce: The Ghost Sonata by Jennifer Allison

Gilda Joyce is an aspiring novelist and psychic investigator. In her third adventure following 2005's Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator and 2006's Gilda Joyce: The Ladies of the Lake, Gilda accompanies her best friend Wendy Choy to the Young International Virtuosos Piano Competition in Oxford, England. Gilda goes as Wendy's official page-turner but she's mostly excited about having the chance to visit England, a hot spot for paranormal activity.

Once in England, it's not long before Gilda and Wendy are in the middle of a real psychic mystery. Someone is sending disturbing Tarot cards to the competitors to try and shake their confidence and Wendy is haunted by a disturbing melody that she can't get out of her head. Is a ghost is trying to communicate with her? Is Wendy in danger? Can Gilda figure out who is trying to sabotage the competition?

Gilda is a fun and quirky girl protagonist. One of the things I love best about her is that she has big dreams and isn't ashamed of them. She has no doubt that she will achieve everything she sets her mind to. She's also confident enough to be an individual - she's different and not embarrassed by it. I think this is best exemplified by her fabulous traveling wardrobe of unusual outfits for any occasion: "Tainted Royalty", "London Mod" and "Mysterious Traveler." Wendy is a great foil for Gilda - where Gilda gets easily carried away, Wendy is firmly planted in reality and has a hard time believing in things she cannot see. I thought that Wendy's personal journey was particularly interesting - throughout the story she grows and changes from the dutiful daughter to her own person, capable of making her own choices.

The mystery at the heart of The Ghost Sonata was a good one with lots of clues and creepiness to keep the reader on the edge of their seat and Oxford, England was the perfect backdrop for a haunting. I love a good mystery and I can't wait to get to Gilda's next adventure: Gilda Joyce: The Dead Drop!

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