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Review: Desires of the Dead

Desires of the Dead (#2)
by Kimberly Derting

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Release Date: February 15, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Library Check-Out
Rating: Sud-Kissed  

Series: The Body Finder (#1)
About the Book:
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The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.

Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

Violet leaned forward on her hands and knees over the frozen landscape. Inside her boots, her toes felt as if icy shards were burrowing beneath her skin and slithering into her veins...
Desires of the Dead begins in a way that made me feel as though I'd never left Violet's world. Violet has now aroused the suspicion of mysterious forces working under the FBI, unintentionally setting them on her trail thanks to her, shall we say, knack for tracking the murdered dead, in a moment of desperation. Not quite covering her tracks properly leads to accusations headed by the intriguing Sara Priest, out for answers Violet is unwilling to surrender. Trailing not too far behind the Priest woman is an enigmatic boy around Violet's age who seems to know more about how Violet's gift works than she does!

I loved The Body Finder, but I didn't enjoy Desires of the Dead quite as much. Maybe because being the object of a psychotic killer proves to be more exciting than the focus of someone else's obsession. And unveiling the identity of The Obsesser wasn't as much of a hardship as with uncovering the truth about book one's serial killer. The suspense sadly didn't serve as much of a motivation to get pumped up with excitement.

A combination of two major aspects resulted in my enjoyment of this book: The first? Jay and Violet, uh duh. I swear to Bob, these two are one of my favorite couples in YA. The childhood friend romance has never been done quite this way, has never been written in such an appealing manner. Jay and Violet have this connection that just runs so deep, and a romance that blooms so... sexily. Seriously, their romance has the perfect dose of sweet and soft and hot and busy *waggles eyebrows*. And even though they're friends, the two are exploring each other in new ways all the time now that their relationship has evolved. While in book one Violet was less concerned with how quickly they were making the transition, the ramifications of their progression into uncharted territory are expressed here. Violet is trying to balance herself on the thin tightrope between friendship and lovers. What should she tell Jay? What should she keep from him? Should she be keeping anything from him? All questions which dog her conscience as the book moves forward.

The other big thing about this book is chipping away at the mystery of Sara Priest and that guy, Rafe. Both are evidently not what they appear to be, and much more involved in the paranormal than I would've guessed. I'm all for new characters being placed in the game, so long as none of the other players get tossed aside. That "Spark" of Whatevs that keeps flitting between Rafe and Violet needs to take a hike, because I will not stand for a love triangle! I refuse to believe that this is where Derting is taking us, because I just can't imagine a world where Violet and Jay aren't together. (*winces* Gawd, that came out so cheesy and melodramatic! When did I become that cheesy peasy romance writer?)

My dilemma with this book is simply that it reads too much like an in-between-a-series book. No, I didn't miss the memo where it says that Desires of the Dead is a part of a series. But, I want my sequels to be as devastatingly amazing as I found the book that started it all to be. It should stand on it's own, and it should be just as exciting as the last book! I'm hoping that with The Last Echo, the intensity level gets spiked up to unbearable, the romance (WITH JAY) is dazzling, and that not a smidgen of disappointment will taint what I'm assuming to be the last book in this wonderful series!

“It used to be that I would never keep secrets from you. You were my best friend. But now that we’re dating, it’s just... different. I feel like I have to watch what I say, or you get all worried. Sometimes I just want you to be the old Jay again, so I can talk to you.” Violet crept behind him, wrapping her arms around his waist and resting her cheek against his back...

She felt him relax, and his voice softened. “Is that what this is all about? You feel like you can’t talk to me anymore? We haven’t changed; we’re still the same people.” (189)


Angie @ Beneath the Jacket said...

I concur with all you have said. It's like you went into my mind and stole my thoughts on the book. It'd be okay if you did, but I'd want the power or machine that you used to do it.

Petra @ Safari Poet said...

I love this too. You'll be happy to hear that The Last Echo isn't the last in the series. There will be a fourth :-)

Safari Poet

Jenny said...

Such a fantastically thorough review Asher! I had much the same reaction to this one. I loved it just because I love Jay and Violet so much, but the mystery wasn't quite as interesting as in The Body Finder. Granted, it would test the limits of believability if she was targeted by serial killers in each book, but the first one felt a lot creepier:) Still can't wait for the Last Echo though!

BookLuvr Mindy said...

I read Body Finder and really liked it but I haven't read Desires of the Dead yet. I'm really looking forward to it!

Magical Urban Fantasy Reads

BookLuvr Mindy said...

Love your blog BTW! I see that you are TEAM REN! I am too! I can't wait to see what you think of Bloodrose!

Stepping Out of the Page said...

I've still got the first of this series lying unread on my bookcase, thanks for reminding me - I'll have to get around to seeing what it's like. Great review!

A. Knight said...

Angie- I'm teleporting it to your house now. Is it there yet? :D

Petra- Oh, thanks! I had no idea. The title is so misleading. When I think The Last Echo, I'm thinking Violet won't be hearing anymore echoes, therefore The Last Echo would've been the final book. My excitement for the fourth one will depend on the third sequel. I'm really nervous!

Jenny- Ah, Jenny, you humble me with your praise. Your reviews are always stellar and well-written that I can't help but feel like the president just shook my hand when you said that. I love Jay and Vi so much, too, that I will be devastated if anything jeopardizes their relationship. I concur your point about having several killers, but I'm still not happy about it *grumbles* !

Mindy- Oh, you should. It may not have been better than the first, but if you're a fan of Jay and Vi, you get a lot of couple action :DD

And thank you so much <3 Seriously, my heart got all fuzzy at your sentiment. *high fives* We Team Ren girls have GOT to stick together. I have yet to read Wolfsbane, even though its sitting on my shelf. I'll get to it soon!

Stephanie- Don't get creeped out, I checked your blog for your name. My fingers protested loudly at the thought of writing out your ENTIRE username. YES, YES, YES. Read this series! It's an excellent paranormal take on unsolved mysteries and psychics. Plus the romance is dazzling!

Sarah@Catching Books said...

Great review :) I will def have to check this book out!

A. Knight said...

Sarah- Don't forget to read the first book in the series, The Body Finder! You won't be disappointed! ;D

Annette said...

I just started The Body Finder. I've been looking forward to this series for a long time--I've heard good things. Great review! I'm a new follower. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my IMM.

A. Knight said...

YAY. It's so exciting when other book readers start reading what you love! Thanks and it was my pleasure to stop by. Honestly, who could resist passing by that EXCEPTIONAL IMM without saying anything? :D

Audrey (Bibliosaurus Text) said...

I liked this book too, just not as much as the first. Jay is the perfect boyfriend, and I couldn't get behind Violet's mid-book pout. I can't wait to see where they go with the new characters!

A. Knight said...

Audrey- More like I can't wait to see Violet snub Rafe and stick with Jay. :P

Seriously, I will be so POed otherwise.