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Ghosts & Echoes by Lyn Benedict

Ghosts & Echoes

by Lyn Benedict

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Good book, somewhat spoiled by a bad blurb. Really, I hate it when the back cover text casually mentions a third-act reveal. Yes, I still enjoyed seeing Sylvie juggle three problems at once, but that back cover text had me expecting a completely different A-plot.

With that said, I did enjoy the book and am chugging right along to book three in the series. ( )
  RevBobMIB | Oct 21, 2015 |
God. Dark, dark, dark, dark. There is no panacea in Lyn Benedict's books, even the most unlikely of happy endings is rife with bitter things beyond Sylvie's control. The bad are not always punished, the good are often damaged in the fight, and even justice can leave you limp and tear stricken and saddened. Utterly compelling and masterfully written, GHOSTS & ECHOES fascinated and enthralled me, all the while breaking my heart. ( )
  Capnrandm | Apr 15, 2013 |
If you've read Sins and Shadows, then you know that the main character - Sylvie - can be a bit of a cranky person. In the last book, I enjoyed her inner seething rage. It was kind of constant, she was so angry most of the book. In this book, she came across a little more sullen than angry. Not sure if I really liked that part, but the story itself was good - a good plot, a good narration, good dialogue and some suspenseful scenes with creepy factors.

Sylvie's sister, Zoe, has been in a bit of trouble and she gets dumped on Sylvie's watch while her parents take off on a trip. Of course, Zoe disappears - she's a rebellious teen with some sinister associations as well as the same blood in her veins that has Sylvie hearing those dark, snarky thoughts. While this is happening, Sylvie has been having money problems (all the urban fantasy heroines who work for a living seem to have money problems) so her office manager/assistant pressures her to take a simple case that turns out to be not so simple. All the businesses around the area have been robbed without any signs of forced entry, and no witnesses.

AND .... a cop comes to her from Chicago, setting of her last traumatic snafu case where she had to fight gods and the furies of Greek legends. Chicago is still recovering from this event. Turns out this particular cop, Wright, was killed and brought back to life (yeay for CPR), only he doesn't seem to feel himself. He has a passenger on board....a haunt.... Another case that turns out to me not so simple.

The book was well written, the story was a good story and the cases were interesting. The problems that Sylvie has been having with the local police, however, hinder her investigations and she has been being harassed by them. And kind of behaving in a harassed sullen young adult type of way. Because of the reason for their harassment, she gets a little sullen, but she also seems to have a bit of patience for it, understanding the reason and accepting the situations.

There is something in the ending that seemed a bit too convenient - but author's choice, her story; and while it was so very convenient, the reaction from Sylvie wasn't exactly welcoming, it was more critical and "this is not a good thing". The bottom line is that I'm glad I read Ghosts and Echoes and I enjoyed the book, very much. This is a good story, again, with believable dialogue and characters. The cases were solved one way or another, and we've gotten a taste of Zoe, Sylvie's little sister. Even though she was a total teen brat in this novel, seeming to care about nothing but her own wants and needs, she did seem to show signs of hidden depths, possibilities of growth, etc. Zoe's character also seemed more real than many of the teen characters that I've read in other books - some of them so reasonable, it almost seems too good to be true. Zoe's character is promising, and could be an interesting secondary character addition to the series. I have the next in the series waiting for me on the shelf (Gods and Monsters). I believe there are even more in the series waiting for me at the bookstores. ( )
  Mardel | Jan 24, 2013 |
Ghosts and Echoes is the second book in the Shadows & Inquiries series, and takes place a month after the events in Sins & Shadows where Sylvie helped save a God while killing Lilith, the mother of her lineage, and watched as Michael Demalion died in the process.

This time around Sylvie is looking for a simple and easy case to ease back into things. She has been on vacation, and really is questioning her commitment to keeping her business open. She is still grieving and angry over what happened to Michael, and knows she is partially to blame for his death.

She is also being hounded and harassed by the Miami police department who believes she was responsible for the death of Raphael Suarez. Raphael was her friend and investigator and his death really has screwed with Sylvie’s psyche. Adelio Suarez, Raphael’s father, has demanded answers from Sylvie including what really happened to the cultists who were responsible for Raphael’s death. Note: The God of Justice turned them all into flowers instead of killing them.

Alex Figueroa-Smith has become a full business partner in Shadows Inquiries Private Investigators, but Sylvie she keeps her as an investigator behind the scenes. Mainly doing research and running the office. She’s not ready to lose another friend to those she hunts down and kills especially after Alex nearly died at the hands of a massive snake attack on her.

Sylvie specializes in cases involving the unusual and unbelievable. She has anger issues and is quick to pull the trigger. Her kill rate is off the charts. Sylvie’s dark voice within drives her actions, and you wonder when she will finally lose total control and do something even more dangerous than going up against Lilith, Cultists, werewolves, and an out of control witch.

Sylvie hates the Magicus Mundi since they kill people and operate outside the realm of human knowledge and human law. Sylvie is often aggressive, cynical, over confident, belligerent and a trouble magnet. In Sins & Shadows, Sylvie found out that she’s the descendant of Cain, the first murderer, and Lilith the ultimate disobedient. Of course, after Lilith was turned human, she tossed her off a roof to her death.

Enter Chicago cop Adam Wright who has picked up a hitchhiker in his body that he believes happened after he was hit by lightning and died. Of course, the hitchhiker just happens to be Michael Demalion who somehow was able to get away from the Furies that were sent to kill his soul. Needless to say, anyone who has read this book would have already known the final outcome of this book. So, I won’t dispel any spoilers and give it away.

Alex actually plays a bigger role in this story, as well as her little sister Zoe. Zoe it seems has a secret that she has kept away from Sylvie. She’s a witch, and an untrained and powerful one at that. Sylvie could blame herself for keeping a distance from her and not knowing she’s a witch because of her line of work. But the point is she misses important clues along the way, and ends up time and time again walking into dangerous situations without thinking first.

I really want to dislike this series, but now that I’ve come this far, I want answers and to know in what direction this story will take with the Zoe and Michael story lines among others. I also am hoping that Sylvie is able to mend some of the broken fences and friendships she's lost along the way because of her anger, and her job.

Gods & Monsters was released 04/26/2011 ( )
  ShelleyJax | May 10, 2011 |
The premise: ganked from the author's website: Sylvie is back from vacation, and all she wants out of life right now is for the Magicus Mundi to leave her alone for a bit. No dead things, no mayhem, no life-and-death struggles. Just because Sylvie managed to take some time off doesn't mean that the Magicus Mundi has to follow her example, though, and it's been piling things up on her doorstep while she was away.

Still, she can pick and choose her cases, right? Solving a string of burglaries sounds perfect--mind-numbingly boring and mundane. Until you throw in Sylvie's missing sister, a generous helping of necromancy, and a Chicago cop possessed by a disturbingly familiar spirit.

As the Rolling Stones sang, "You can't always get what you want."

My Rating: Must Read: it's almost always a good sign when I start reading a book and forget to mark pages or take notes, because that means I'm engaged and the critical part of my brain isn't activated. That doesn't mean the book is perfect or flawless: the beginning feels a wee bit slow, but it's not detrimentally so by any means, as there's plenty of action. On the urban fantasy spectrum, it leans on the side of dark fantasy over paranormal romance, and those of you tired of seeing vampires and werewolves and zombies and fairies taking the spotlight in the genre will do well to check out this series. Should you check out the first book, Sins & Shadows, before tackling this one? You'd be better off, because the events of the first book really illuminates the motivations behind Ghosts & Echoes, especially in terms of Sylvie's character, who I liked much better this go around, probably because she's so humanized this time. I will say that this is a series that's really aimed for readers who want dark in their urban fantasy. Sylvie's world is not only dark and full of dark magic, but Sylvie herself is an angry character, and it's fascinating to watch her struggle with herself and others, even as she's trying to make the right decision. It's not a series for everyone, but I'm glad I gave this second book a go, because I'm definitely on board now for book three, Gods & Monsters.

Spoilers, yay or nay?: Nay. I imply things, but I spoil nothing. But I don't recommend reading this review unless you've read the first book, so come back once you're all caught up! If you ARE all caught up, read away!

The full review is at my LJ for all of those interested, and it's linked to below. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome.


Happy Reading! ( )
  devilwrites | Apr 13, 2011 |
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"After the death of her fiance, PI Sylvie Lightner, who specializes in strange and unusual cases, distracts herself from her grief by investigating a seemingly simple robbery that turns out to be a puzzling case of organized murder with a twist of magic."--NoveList.… (more)

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