Zach Kalusky, host of Sci-D TV's Xavier Paranormal Investigators, is ecstatic when he's given the opportunity to explore the most haunted site in Chicago for a Halloween Special: Rosewood Asylum, a place long made off-limits by the local government, plagued by decades of mysterious fires and unexplained events. It's Zach's dream investigation- but there's a catch: the network forces Xavier Paranormal Investigators to partner with the more dramatic-but less ethical-Demon Hunters. Now, Zach must fight for both his show's integrity and his team's loyalty while trying to protect his own secret: that he, himself, is possessed.
Paperback, 294 pages
Published May 10th 2011 by Otherworld Publications LLC
Four stars: A lively adventure behind the scenes of a ghost hunter show.
The story opens, July 4, 1900. A young, precocious girl, Amelia scampers about the grounds of the Rosewood Asylum. Amelia is exploring with her mysterious friend, Boy, he is a fun companion. The two roam the woods, while Amelia tries to keep her dress clean. Suddenly, the pair run into a woman in a long dress. Something isn't quite right about her. The strange woman morphs in front of them, her flesh burns and turns to charred remains, as she reaches out and touches Boy, he is swallowed up, vanishing into thin air. The woman turns toward Amelia, the terrified girl attempts to flee, but her feet are rooted to the ground. She is overcome by terror. Blackness washes over Amelia, as she fades into the realm of the unconscious. Fast forward, to present day, over a hundred years have passed. Rosewood Asylum, stands as an abandoned state protected landmark. Rumors and urban legends churn regarding the hospital's sordid past. Whispers of hauntings, a strange female specter, unexplained fires and a high rate of suicides. Numerous attempts were made over the years to renovate the site but the hauntings interceded, preventing the reconstructions. Now the building stands behind a barbed wire fence, ravaged by dust and decay, a victim of the wheel of time. Zach Kalusky, host of Sci-D TV's Xavier Paranormal Investigators, has longed for a chance to investigate the decrepit Asylum, to uncover the source of the hauntings. Alas, no one has been allowed on the grounds for years. That is until Zach learns he is getting the chance of a lifetime. At last he and his crew are granted access to the Rosewood Asylum and its grounds. There is one catch, his crew won't be exploring the hauntings on their own, in a brazen attempt to boost ratings, the network is pairing his crew with their arch rivals, The Demon Hunters. Zach, has long been suspicious of some of their investigating techniques. He reluctantly agrees to work with the competition, in order to finally be able to set foot in Rosewood. What secrets await Zach and the others in the haunted halls of the Asylum?
What I Liked:
- I admit, I occasionally like to watch those ghost hunter shows, especially around Halloween, so I enjoyed reading about a ghost hunting show. This book provides a behind the scenes look at what goes into the production of a reality ghost show. The author, Mr. Prosapio, obviously did his research because this book is a realistic portrayal. I enjoyed the explanations on the methods, research, equipment and techniques that ghost hunters utilize. I especially liked the way Zach would think of how clips would end up being edited in the final production, to sensationalize the events for the audience. If you have any interest in ghost hunting television productions, you will love this book.
- I appreciated that this book presents layer upon layer of mystery. There are numerous story threads to follow, the main investigation of Rosewood and the secrets of the hauntings, the enigmatic, old lady Evelyn and her mysterious story, the questionable techniques of the Demon Hunters, the possibility of tainted evidence and Zach's secret ability. All of these plots collide to produce a book that is a captivating mystery adventure. Be sure to pay attention, many clues are revealed along the way.
- I liked the characters, Zach and Ray, long time friends. I enjoyed their easy, comfortable friendship. Their companionship allows for plenty of funny banter back and forth between two. This provides a bit of comic relief and helps lighten the mood. Ray proves to be the type of friend you would want watching your back. Hunter, the psychic, was another fun character, he also adds his own unique brand of humor.
- I appreciated that this book is a a great stand alone novel, no cliffhanger ending. The story resolves neatly, but the foundation is established for future ghost hunting expenditures with Zach and the gang. At the end of the book, there is an enticing sample for Mr. Prosapio's next book. I am eagerly awaiting the sequel.
And The Not So Much:
- I am not sure this is really a criticism, but I kept reading waiting for some horrid apparition to materialize and completely scare the bejesus out of me. Thankfully, that never happened. I enjoy a good scare but I don't like to be terrified. This book does have ghosts but nothing that will frighten the pants off you and make you want to sleep with the lights on (ok I admit I was a pantywaist and avoided reading this before bed just in case). If you are looking for a terrifying read, then this book likely will not do it for you. For those of you, like me, who approach ghost books with a bit of trepidation, this one provides just the right amount of chills. I also think that by not going overboard with the ghostly apparitions, the book maintains a more realistic feel.
- Ok so this is me being picky, part of me wanted to be scared while the sane part of me did not, I kept expecting at any moment for something scary to pop out, so I was a bit disappointed when I finished, because I slept soundly. (I know some of you are thinking make up your mind already, *shrugs* I'm a girl.
- This book has an extensive cast of characters, with the two ghost hunting teams. I struggled a bit trying to keep track of everyone, which team they were on and their tasks on the investigation. I think having a list at the beginning of the characters and their descriptions would enhance the reading experience.
- At times, I was a bit confused on the layout of the Rosewood Asylum and all the land protected under the state's historical status. A map of the grounds would help me clarify the area.
- I would like to have a bit more information on Zach and his condition. A little more explanation would have been beneficial to me, as I know very little about the scientific and medical aspects of his affliction.
- Most of the mysteries are wrapped up but I had a few lingering questions. What was Sara's full role? What caused Sashza's mishap? Who ratted out Thomas? Does Evelyn find her peace?
Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum is a book I highly recommend you check out. It is a fun foray into the ghost hunting world. This book packs a punch with its many mysterious elements. Yet, it has just the right amount of scare, enough to frighten but not terrorize. Mr. Prosapio, has established a solid beginning, to what I am sure will be an entertaining series. The best part? You can pick up an ebook for $2.99, a bargain! So, are you ready to do a little ghost hunting?
"One may smile and smile and be a villain."
"Zach shushed them. No need for spraying lighter fluid into a live cigar butt."
"The smell of rotting plaster and dust was a stale belch into the warm day."
"Zach, something evil is roaming these halls.”
"It seemed something should be said. It felt like he should say...something. But all that he wanted to say, all that needed to be said was too much. Anything spoken would come across as trite. So he said nothing to his friends, and they said nothing back."
"It was as if ice water crept up his legs and once it reached his waist, shot up his spine."
"Live together, die alone,” Hunter said.
Come back tomorrow for a special guest post from the Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum Tour!