written by Auburn Seal
published by Keys Publishing House
Why did I pick this book: I participated in the blog tour hosted by AToMR Tours. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
Did I enjoy this book: Yes, and no, but mostly yes – I think.
I’m deeply conflicted about this book. I think the story idea is interesting. I believe Auburn Seal has really strong writing skills and a great imagination. I feel certain that we’ll see books from her in the future that are really good.
I’m not sure Roanoke Vanishing is that book, unfortunately.
I began the book expecting historical fiction. But then ghosts showed up, we had a murder mystery, we flashed back to England in the 1500’s, then a love story.
I usually like complicated books with lots of twists and turns. I’m just not sure it worked in this case. There were too many cross-genre moments. You can blend maybe historical fiction with a mystery (like National Treasure with Nicolas Cage). Or romance, murder, and ghosts if you’re really good (like Ghost with Demi Moore).
But it’s nearly impossible to mix ghosts, murder, history, romance, mystery, betrayal, etc. into one story. But she comes darn close.
She may have been able to pull it off except for one character development flaw. Avery initially lacked clear motivation to risk everything to solve this ancient mystery.
Her boyfriend broke up with her, someone broke into her house and threatened her, her professor claimed he’d fail her. And she’s too pigheaded to stop. I couldn’t figure out – and believe me I tried – what her motivation was to risk everything to solve a mediocre historical mystery.
But I have to give her points for trying. I enjoyed each story individually but as a whole the novel lacked cohesiveness.
Would I recommend it: If she makes specific revisions to tighten the novel’s focus, I think it’d be a grand slam story.
Will I read it again: And yes, I’d love to read it again.
About the book: What if the only thing standing between you and certain death was the spirit of someone long dead?
Avery Lane, a plucky grad student, is determined to discover the fate of the colonists from sixteenth century Roanoke. Nearly one-hundred twenty souls vanished without a trace in August 1597 and their demise has remained a mystery to world’s historical experts. Aided by a ghost from that time, Avery is certain that she is closer than ever to the truth, but soon discovers that some people will stop at nothing to keep the secret buried. Can Avery find the answers she seeks before it’s too late?