Screamcatcher: The Shimmering Eye by Christy J. Breedlove

Screamcatcher: The Shimmering Eye by Christy J. Breedlove
Publisher: Melange Publishing
Genre: Young Adult (14 – 18 y.o.), Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery/Thriller, Paranormal, Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Eighteen-year-old Jory Pike, a half-blood Chippewa, is depending upon her Native ancestry to help her investigate one of the strangest hauntings she’s ever encountered. A 500-plus acre ranch in rural Montana is under psychic and physical attack. The ranch’s owner, the elderly Ambrose Tucker, is determined to hold steadfast and courageously to his beloved property. Answering an ad in Jory’s outfit, The Badlands Paranormal Society, Ambrose hopes to rid his property of evil spirits once and for all.

Jory and her crew of three other teenagers, each of whom bring to the table their own line of skills and expertise, have brought every known piece of hardware and technical equipment to Granite Springs Ranch. Although the assignment seems ordinary at first, and the answer to the haunting seems eminent, everything spirals out of control and leaves the team terrified. The problem is, they have no idea that they’re being outclassed and sabotaged by a malevolent spirit, who seems to know their every move.

If Jory and the Badlands Paranormal Society don’t solve the problem in quick fashion, they stand to lose the $50,000 extermination fee, but worst of all, they will allow a dangerous and unmerciful entity to unleash a hoard of vicious mythological creatures that will run rampant over the ranch and surrounding properties. Jory has no idea how she and her teammate’s mettle will be tested, bringing them near the edge of insanity, physical endurance and death.

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Jory and her friends made a great team. They were clearly well experienced with inexplicable phenomena, and they always had ideas of what to try next when their original theories about what was happening at Granite Springs Ranch left them with more questions than answers. I also appreciated their generally calm approach to all of the weird stuff happening around them. They leaned on each other and their own previous experiences to figure things out which is exactly what I like to see happen in the paranormal genre.

There were some mild pacing issues. Jory and her friends didn’t discover some of the most important clues about what was really happening until the last couple of chapters. While it was nice to be kept in suspense for so long, this didn’t leave quite enough room to explore all of the logical conclusions of what they discovered. It would have been helpful to have another chapter or two at the ending to wrap everything up a little more clearly.

The supernatural aspects of the storyline were nicely written. Not only did they keep me guessing for multiple chapters, the big reveal was even more interesting than the theories about it I’d come up with. I also enjoyed seeing the four main characters grapple with a case that broke so many of the rules of what unknown entities should and should not be capable of doing. It was somehow even more fun to see the characters discover new clues about it as it was to puzzle over them myself.

This is the third book in a series. It can be read as a standalone work.

Screamcatcher: The Shimmering Eye should be read by anyone who adores paranormal mysteries.

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