Series: The Body Finder #2
Published by HarperTeen on February 15, 2011
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. Her best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay, is the only one outside of her family who knows of her morbid ability. But when Violet discovers the body of a missing boy, she draws the attention of the FBI.
As Violet dodges their questions, she is pulled into an investigation that will endanger more than just her secret. For without even meaning to, Violet has stumbled upon a dark truth—and a desperate killer.
The description, as with the first book, intrigued me. The premise of Desires of the Dead is simple: Violet has drawn unwanted attention from the FBI, and now she must play a game of cat and mouse to keep her “morbid secret ability” a secret.
Unfortunately, Desires of the Dead suffered “Second Book Syndrome.” It happens sometimes, and it doesn’t necessarily mean the book is bad – it’s just a little bit of a let down after a great first book. I find this happens a lot in television shows, as well – season one is great, and then season two is kind of boring. Usually, book/TV season three picks up nicely, and all worries or doubts are cast aside.
The sections in the book told from the “killer’s” POV were bland compared to The Body Finder. I wasn’t scared at all. I also found the identity of the “killer” to be a lot more predictable than in the first book. This was a little bit inevitable, unfortunately, because of who the “killer” was and who that person had to interact with; however, I don’t think Derting could have done these sections any other way. It’s disappointing and it took some of the fun out of the guessing game, but I understand why it had to be done.
One of my favorite characters this time around was Chelsea. I was indifferent to her in The Body Finder, and even found her a little bit annoying. She was much more likable in Desires of the Dead. Her character felt one sided in the first book, and she just rubbed me the wrong way. But in Desires of the Dead, she came alive (sorry for the pun!) She had moments where you really felt for her. You wanted Mike to notice her, to like her back. She was also more attuned to the feelings of others, especially Violet, this time. She knew when she had to be serious and stop joking around.
Another character favorite was Sara Priest. I can’t really put my finger on it, but I find her to be raw and authentic, like she genuinely cares about Violet, yet not totally trustworthy. And then there’s Rafe. Broody, moody, man-of-few-words Rafe. I’m not his biggest fan… yet, at least.
My least favorite part of Desires of the Dead, unfortunately, was Jay (again). He’s known Violet since he was seven-years-old. They’ve been through so much together and yet he didn’t believe her when she confided in him. She trusted him, needed his help, and he brushed her off. Worse, he brushed off her ability to sense echoes. That ability is a part of who Violet is and not believing in her ability is akin to not believing in Violet herself. And again, his temper didn’t win him any points.
I got a little annoyed with Violet this time around, too. In The Body Finder, she was a strong character who could take care of herself, but still relied on help from others when she needed it. She knew when something was too much for her to handle alone. In Desires of the Dead, she kept a lot of things to herself, refusing to open up to anyone. She relied heavily on her parents and uncle in the first book, but kept them pretty much in the dark in book two. There were several scenes where I just wanted to smack her for being so darn stubborn and for going it alone, when she should have asked for help. The one concession I can make for all this is that she’s a teenager, and teenagers do tend to be – stereotypically – stubborn. They make mistakes and, hopefully, they learn from them.
The ending felt a little bit anticlimactic. Maybe because it was more predictable than the ending to The Body Finder. Also, it had a little less action in it than The Body Finder did. Jay redeemed himself again, but he’s still on probation as far as I’m concerned.
Overall, despite my many issues with it (Sorry, Kimberly!), I did still enjoy Desires of the Dead and I still think it is worthy of 4 stars. It was a little harder to get through, but it pushed the series forward. I’m hoping everything that happened in Desires of the Dead was done to set up for an epic book three. I will say I’m about 100 pages into The Last Echo, and enjoying it a lot more, so that definitely gives me hope.