Ghost Seer by Robin D. Owens
Series: Ghost Seer #1
Published by Berkley
Published on: April 1, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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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.
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.
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.
I understand what you mean; this isn’t your typical read, but there’s just something about Owens writing that sucks you in.
I haven’t tried this author yet but I think I would like them. I love a good ghost story. 😉
It’s not your typical ghost story either!
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!
Haha Yes, the romance was a little off, but otherwise I have no real complaints about this one other than the pacing.
The cover is definitely eye catching! I love it. It sounds like a different read. I’m adding it to my TBR list. Great review!
It’s always good to branch-out sometimes. 🙂
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.
I’ll be sure to check-out your review tomorrow, so that we can compare notes. Glad I’m not the only one who some issues with the romance.
I’ve already got this one pre-ordered for this week. I haven’t read the author before but it sounds like a promising start to a new series. And YAY! Ghost dog!
Ghost dogs are indeed awesome! I hope you enjoy it!
Great review. I do like the cover and this book sounds very interesting. It’s another to add to my to-read-list. ^_^
I think I have the first one on my shelves 🙂 🙂
Well then, you’d best get a move on! :p
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 🙂
What’s not to love about cowboy ghosts?? LOL
Great sounding series, and I like the sound of Jack!
He’s definitely an interesting character; I’ll be curious to see where this series goes from here.
I’m glad you liked it more than me. I think I really had a problem with the insta-love but I agree the story was really interesting.
Yeah, I hear ya… that pesky insta-love. I read your review on GoodReads the other day to see why you rated it 3-stars. 🙂
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 🙂
Same here, unless book 1 is REALLY bad, I’ll always read at least 2 installments in any series.
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 =)
It’s different. I’m not sure if there’s enough action in it for you. The pacing is kinda slow. o_O
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.
I’m on the fence about this one. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. Book 2 is either going to make or break this series for me.
Ohhh look at that. She looks just as cool on cover 2
She does! I love it when the covers in a series match.
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
Haha Yes, I saw your BDB post. 😛
I literally just finished this book. I agree with you in most counts and overall I enjoyed it the same. I adored Enzo too. Great Review.
Thanks! I look forward to reading yours.
You had me at ghost dog! Great Review 🙂
LOL That was too easy Lorna. 😀
Oh yeah, this definitely seems different. I would like the change up. Though the slow pace scares me.
Yeah… I was tempted to give this one a 3.5 because of the pacing. o_O
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
It bugged me because he’s an ex-cop, and aren’t they supposed to be all about the “evidence”??
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 🙂