Last time she died - by Niki Kamerzell
Updated: Jan 7
Niki Kamerzell has put together a YA paranormal fantasy mystery – (yes, I had to take a breath there) – for someone that reads primarily horror, I sometimes have to take a step away from my comfort zone to refocus, and whilst there are elements of horror in this book, it primarily concerns itself with the mystery of the events that are happening to (and around) the two lead female characters, Alexia and Cali, and the resolution of that situation.
Given that premise, I’m going to have to be vague with regards plot, because it is the unraveling of that plot that makes the book shine. Niki has done a fantastic job of ramping up reader expectation and tension in the first half of the book, to the point that when the reveals come, they hit with force. It’s great world-building and character development, and staggering when you consider that this is a debut.
I think it’s fair to say that in the first half of the book, Kamerzell keeps the reasoning for everything that happens vague and that the timing of the reveals hits at the correct moment – by the time it all hits home you are either on the edge of your seat frustrated (a good thing) due to the tension, she has injected into the story, or are considering that you might not be a clever as you previously thought you were. There are elements of unreliable narration, but there are so many competing elements in the story (romance, thriller, paranormal, horror) that it all becomes a part of the larger mystery that drives the book – and it’s all driven by Kamerzell’s fantastic descriptive prose that smacks your senses into overdrive.
An unusual reading genre for me, but a great debut, a solid YA mystery paranormal thriller romance horror book – with a dash of fantasy for good luck. 5 out of 5 ⭐’s, and I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next!
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