“This was a bit of a disappointment. I really loved the book that preceded it (and introduced the series). That first book was called "The Name of the Star," and it brought Aurora "Rory" Deveaux from Louisiana to London and a private boarding school. Her parents had taken positions in England as college professors, and she was basically joining them, even though she was not going to be living directly with them.
The really interesting thing is that as she arrives, a series of murders mirroring the original Jack the Ripper slayings starts happening in the vicinity of the school, which is right in the middle of Ripper territory. The whole city (as well as her school) is thrown into turmoil as everyone tries to find and stop the copycat.
The only problem is that the case is not really tied to a copycat, and Rory starts to learn about it as she gets to know more about a secret power she has. Due to a near-death experience, she can see shades, or ghosts, and this introduces her to another whole world that is imprinted on the real living world. Some of the ghosts, such as the teen boy in the school library are nice and friendly while others are crazy and need some help moving on to the afterlife.
And that is the role taken on by a secret unit of the Metropolitan Police that take Rory under their wing. This becomes even more important as she is dealing with the terrible consequences of actions at the conclusion of the previous novel. She has been both physically and emotionally wounded, and it is not easy getting back to normal. Even as she heads back to London and school, she finds herself struggling with the horrors of what she saw ... and what she can do. She has learned she is actually a tool that can be used to to send ghosts along just by mere touch, either intentional or not.
The story does get bogged down quite a bit. I guess that makes the story more realistic in the fact that Rory does need a recovery, but it is not enjoyable storytelling. It reminded me so much of the wasted 70 pages of pining that Bella does for Edward at the start of the second "Twilight" novel. It could totally have just been described in a sentence or two and jumped the book ahead a bit more in time and had the same informational effect.
Rory does find herself getting more involved in the paranormal "Torchwood" group, which is interesting, as it allows the reader to get to know her teammates on a much higher level. Sadly though, this aspect is lost as Rory is dealing with going to classes and trying to play catchup while not being able to do work and trying to handle counseling that seems inadequate to her needs.
I am probably not going to bother with continuing this series since it seems to have lost its focus. The characters are interesting, but there was not enough plot to really support an almost-300 page book.”