Book Review: Forewarned (Book 2 of the Near Deaths Series) by Holly M. Campbell

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

I have been waiting over a year for this novel. I could say that it delivered, it didn’t disappoint, that it was even better than Book 1, Foreshadowed – but those would be understatements. To put it simply, this book floored me. Holly M. Campbell is a talented YA paranormal/suspense writer whose career is going places. This is the third book I’ve read by her. Her writing is professional, consistent, and totally compelling. If you’re going to pick up any of her books, make sure you don’t have other plans for the day, because I guarantee you won’t be putting it down till you’re done.

Forewarned (48fourteen Publishing, 2016) picks up seventeen-year-old mind reader Hope Murdoch’s story within a few weeks of where Book 1 left off. Hope and her death-seeing boyfriend, Lance, have thwarted a serial rapist/murderer and rescued their friend from a horrific fate. Doing so has changed Hope’s future…but this time, her predicted death is even worse. The mystery of the sociopath’s identity drove me insane with burning curiosity throughout the book as the teens secretly conspire to cipher who he is. Though Hope and Lance have every intention of continuing to combine their psychic gifts to prevent more kidnappings and deaths, Hope comes to learn that it’s not so simple, that not every death can be avoided and, sometimes, by changing one outcome, worse outcomes may unintentionally result for others .

Making matters more  challenging are Hope’s parents, who’ve understandably grounded her and don’t trust Lance, an unhelpful detective and skeptical school newspaper reporter, the painful return of Lance’s ex-girlfriend, and the fact that even the potential victims whom Hope tries to warn don’t believe her – or don’t want to. While the book started out with plenty of laughs from Hope’s trademark sarcasm, it definitely took a turn for the darker, creepier…until twisting into an unexpected ending that totally tore my heart out.

Reading this book reminded me so much of my high school summers curled on the basement couch watching “Twin Peaks” (Frost/Lynch, 1990)  reruns with my big brother. Between the murder mystery of a beautiful high school girl, Hope’s creepy David Lynch-like dreams about Death and her Spirit Guide, and the spooky mood, “Twin Peaks” fans, plus readers of teen suspense will adore this book. The paranormal aspects of the story are so natural and realistic, I almost forgot I was reading a paranormal book. I give Book 2 of the Near Deaths Series five enthusiastic stars. My only plea is that we don’t have to wait a whole year again for the third and final volume! 🙂

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