Review: Ghost Seer by Robin D Owens

Posted March 31, 2014 by Carmel in Carmel, Reviews, Urban Fantasy / 41 Comments

Review: Ghost Seer by Robin D Owens
Ghost Seer by Robin D. Owens
Series: Ghost Seer #1
Published by Berkley
Published on: April 1, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
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There’s just something about Clare. Apart from the ghosts…

When her eccentric aunt passes away, no-nonsense accountant Clare Cermac inherits more than just a small fortune. She receives the gift of communicating with ghosts. While Clare may not believe in spirits, it’s hard to overlook the shadowy talking dog appearing on her bed or spectral cowboys tipping their hats to her in the streets of Denver. And when she locks eyes with sexy—and living—Zach Slade, there’s certainly no ignoring him either.

A former deputy sheriff, Zach is leaving a painful past behind in Montana for a new life in Denver as a private investigator, a job that has him crossing paths with beautiful Clare. Not that she minds. After the restless ghost of a Wild West gunman demands her assistance, Clare finds herself needing Zach more and more—and not just for help.

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I was first drawn to this title because of its eye-catching cover and interesting premise; the fact that it’s book 1 in a brand new series, and features a ghost dog spirit guide were definite pluses as well. The pacing and romance were a little slow moving at times, but overall I enjoyed learning about the infamous vigilante Joseph “Jack” Slade and exploring the rules that make up Robin D. Owens’ spectral universe. I also liked the police angle that the ex-deputy sheriff brought to the story even though at times his refusal to believe his own eyes was infuriating.

GHOST SEER isn’t your typical ghost tale in that there are a lot of laws that govern Clare’s “gift”. For one, should Cermac fail to accept her new found sight, she’ll die. Two: if she refuses to help her spectral charges, she’ll go mad. Definitely a damned if you do, damned if you don’t type scenario. Clare’s not offered much of a choice in the matter, and as a result, her whole life is turned upside down in only a few days. It’d be a big adjustment for anyone and I thought the author did a great job of illustrating Cermac’s reluctance to believe in the impossible. She even goes so far as to hire a top-of-the-line shrink in the hopes of conquering her crazy. Another interesting aspect of her gift is that it’s limited to a specific time period—between 1850 and 1900, to be exact—the Wild West’s hey days which was a clever way of explaining why Clare only sees cowboy ghosts.

Zach Slade is an interesting character and I liked the police POV that he brought to the story line. Owens aptly describes his “cop face” and I enjoyed seeing different situations from his perspective because he points things out that I probably wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. I also liked how the author incorporated the One for Sorrow nursery rhyme into the narrative by foreshadowing future events with different numbers of crows. However, I couldn’t help but be annoyed by Slade’s inability to accept the paranormal in his life. I realize that as an ex-deputy sheriff he’s overly rational, but his outright denial of hard evidence came off as contradictory.

The pacing was a little slower than I would have liked, and at times the plot seemed a little too straightforward. There’s an unexpected element of danger thrown in towards the end that was a bit of a tough sell because its connection to the main story arc was tenuous at best. The romance felt halted in that there’s an instant connection between the two characters, but then it’s quickly snuffed out, only to be rekindled and smothered several more times before finally settling somewhere in the middle. My favourite aspect was by far Enzo—the ghost dog—he’s a fun mix of wise spirit guide and playful canine companion. He manages to be both freaky and cute at the same time.

I enjoyed the multitude of unique elements that GHOST SEER brings to the table, although the delivery could have been slightly better in my opinion. Mind you, this series is just getting started so, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what GHOST LAYER has to offer in September.

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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41 responses to “Review: Ghost Seer by Robin D Owens

  1. Great review. I read a series by Owen a few years ago and keep meaning to get back to her. Her books are pretty slow but there is something that holds onto me when I read her. I think I’ll wait for this to either hit the library or used book store but will defiantly check it out.

  2. Right there with you. Liked it, good start to a new series. But I did wish that the two of them would stop whining and get on with things! Yes, there needed to be some fussing and equivocating to make it realistic but, dudes, suck it up. This is where you are. Okay, done. And, yes, I want to read the next one!

  3. My review posts tomorrow Carmel, and yep I felt the same way. I like the characters, especially the dog. The romance wasn’t bad but I am not 100% committed to them. I will continue the series as it has some cool potential.

  4. Oh boy! Another great sounding series. I’m curious about those cowboy ghosts, and the getting the cop’s point would be something I enjoy too.
    On my TBR is goes 🙂

  5. The cover would have drawn me in too! I always try to give a new series a chance to “redeem itself” with book two if it starts off slow but I enjoy the story. I’d probably give it a try based on Enzo’s character alone! Great review 🙂

  6. When I first came across this cover, I read the synopsis and wasn’t really impressed so I had forgotten all about it. But if you enjoyed it, then I’ll have to add it to the TBR list =)

  7. Hmm… I have been eager to read some reviews on this one. It sounds promising, but it doesn’t sound like you were over the moon over it. I am going to wait and see if it gets stronger in the next book before committing. Thanks for the review.

  8. Scanned this because I’m planning to read it this week… nervous about the pace and that thingy you mentioned towards the end, I hope it works out for me overall too… right now I’m just relaxing, getting ready for The King! Sorry, I know I’m overly zealous about it

  9. Faye M.  

    I love stories about ghosts! I totally believe with all my heart and soul that there is another plane of existence in our midst, especially since I’ve encountered one myself (and yes, I did see a plastic cup float for a second or two before tumbling down… although we suspect it was actually a “demon”/”jinn” than a harmless ghost…).Anyway, characters who refuse to accept the reality despite being shown the cold evidence before their eyes are frustrating to me as well! >;( Hopefully that won’t deter me too much here! 🙂 Great review as always love!

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

  10. Oh I haven’t read any UF book in a while and I think that’s just what I need. This series is new to me and ghosts are really interesting creatures to read about! I guess people believed them the longest and that’s always something that makes it even more realistic. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one. Amazing review, Carmel 🙂