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Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Desires of the Dead - Kimberly Derting

Title: Desires of the Dead

Author: Kimberly Derting

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: February 15, 2011

Series: The Body Finder #2

The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.

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.

I really liked The Body Finder and was excited to start Desires of the Dead. Unfortunately, I wasn't as impressed this time around. I still enjoyed the story, but it just wasn't as fulfilling as the first installment in the series.

Violet was on my nerves for a lot of the story this time. It's as though she didn't learn ANYTHING from the first book. She still makes the same stupid mistakes. Her lack of self-preservation didn't bother me in the first book, because it was a new situation to her and her motivations and intentions were good and maybe she was a bit naive. But this time, she should know better. She should've learned from her mistakes, but apparently she didn't. So now it is less endearing desire to help and more frustrating stupidity. She still keeps secrets from Jay. She still runs off alone into situations that she knows are dangerous without even telling anyone she's leaving or where she's going, constantly! It frustrates me because it feels like there is no growth there for Violet between the last book and this one, when there should be.

I'm not sure how I feel about the introduction of the new characters, Sara and Rafe. I'm curious about where their involvement will carry the series, but I'm hesitant to jump on board with the idea as well. I'm not a fan of Rafe. He feels more like a plot tool than a character to me, and I don't like the idea that he could end up coming between Violet and Jay at some point. I hope that he doesn't, because I'm over the love triangle thing being splatter painted all over YA lit. I will keep my fingers crossed for Jay.

The pacing is similar to that of The Body Finder. The story moves pretty quickly, and there are chapters thrown in sporadically that are from the point of view of a character who is something like a stalker. The plot of Desires of the Dead is more predictable than that of the first book. It is obvious (at least it was to me) early on in the story how everything is going to play out in the end. The predictability of it makes it a bit less enjoyable than it would've been if I had been kept guessing. I kept hoping for some sort of a twist, but none ever came. It is pretty straightforward this time around, and is more dramatic irony than mystery.

I'm complaining a lot, but I did enjoy the novel for what it is. It just isn't quite as captivating as what I was hoping for when I started reading it. That being said, I'm still really looking forward to The Last Echo and I'm very curious to see what dimensions are added to Violet's story with the introduction of these new characters and everything that their presence implies.