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Delia's Shadow [Kindle Edition]

Jaime Lee Moyer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"[Jaime] Moyer creates a hauntingly real San Francisco, full of characters you can't wait to get to know better. Delia's Shadow is an engaging debut novel, one that cost me a good night's sleep." --Jim C. Hines, author of Libriomancer

It is the dawn of a new century in San Francisco and Delia Martin is a wealthy young woman whose life appears ideal. But a dark secret colors her life, for Delia's most loyal companions are ghosts, as she has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with an ability to peer across to the other side.

Since the great quake rocked her city in 1906, Delia has been haunted by an avalanche of the dead clamoring for her help. Delia flees to the other side of the continent, hoping to gain some peace. After several years in New York, Delia believes she is free…until one determined specter appears and she realizes that she must return to the City by the Bay in order to put this tortured soul to rest.

It will not be easy, as the ghost is only one of the many victims of a serial killer who was never caught. A killer who after thirty years is killing again.
And who is now aware of Delia's existence.

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Product Description


Moyer creates a hauntingly real San Francisco, full of characters you can't wait to get to know better. Delias Shadow is an engaging debut novel, one that cost me a good night's sleep. --Jim C. Hines, author of Libriomancer. Like fog creeping in from the Bay, this ghostly, romantic tale of San Francisco past made the outside world disappear and sent shivery tendrils into my soul. A gorgeous and haunting book. --Rae Carson, author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Haunting and sweet, Delias Shadow pulls off the rare feat of combining a thrilling ghost story with a gentle romance.S. C. Butler, author of Reiffens Choice --Various

About the Author

JAIME LEE MOYER's Literary Award for Fiction. Moyer has sold short fiction to Lone Star Stories,Daily Science Fiction, and to the Triangulations: End of the Rainbow, and Triangulations: Last Contact anthologies, and edited the 2010 Rhysling Award Anthology for the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Moyer lives in San Antonio with writer Marshall Payne, three cats, three guitars, and a growing collection of books and music.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1632 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (17 Sept. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BY5R00S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #118,147 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
To be honest I was expecting some sort of historical YA fiction, pretty light, slightly paranormal, with a heavy accent on a love story.

Instead this book is dark, sinister and gripping. It's a paranormal thriller, and I really think the fans of Amanda Stevens would appreciate it the most. Also, it's not a YA.

Delia Martin is a young woman who has been seeing ghosts all her life. She even moved to New York to get away from them, but now there is a certain ghost that haunts her, and Delia has a feeling that she needs to get back to San Francisco to get rid of her Shadow.

She goes home to help her best friend to plan a wedding while the city is suffering from a series of chilling, vicious killings. Her best friend's fiance and his friend are the detectives in charge of the murder case, and when Delia meets them both, it becomes clear to her that her Shadow is somehow connected to these killings...

Delia will need the help of both detectives, a very powerful psychic, a horde of ghosts and her bright-eyed best friend to find the killer and put her Shadow to rest. A great read that grips you with a sense of undeniable urgency that won't let go until the killer is caught. Recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars All-round fantastic novel! 4 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Murder mystery, ghosts, love story, friendship, family- this novel has it all. I love being blown away with new authors and Ms. Moyer has definately done that. Her writing style is beautifully simple, with elegant characters that transport you back in time to the beginning of the 20th century, a few years after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Delia is sharp, kind, and flawed (she sees and is haunted by ghosts), Gabe is a police officer haunted by his past (in more ways than one). Brought together by their best friends they're the only hope to solving a gruesome string of murders that have hit close to home for two different generations of cops.

A wonderfully spun tale, with heart warming as well as terrifying moments. This novel delights to no end.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  50 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars three might be too generous... 28 May 2014
By SherriLee - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
THE GOOD..the language is lovely, the framing of the characters has potential and I really like that when a rational character tells her friend then others about the ghost(s) she sees, they take her at her word. They might be doubtful, but they trust her enough to give her the benefit of the doubt. No one really hides info, no brave heroine refuses police protection while a killer roams free, no overly hateful boss wont listen to the dedicated cops. All of the things that irritate me in many others books seem to be solved here....Unfortunately, there is also THE BAD...the characters are lightweight and superficial. The book needed editing...Beryl becomes Blythe, the girls moms were best friends.but they didnt meet until they were 10 ..they write regularly but Delia doesnt know how Jack and Sadie met...? There were also just basic printing/editing errors 'though' instead of 'thought' for instance. BUT THE WORST...the cops dont DO anything...they dont discover, detect, or discover anything at all---any and all information, 'clues' , come through the spirit world--thus they dont have to be plausible or make much sense . There was a great deal of potential here, maybe future books will be better..
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous writing, well-developed characters and a creepy mystery... 18 Sept. 2013
By Disquietus - Published on
Before I get into the important details of this book, can I please just talk about how much I LOVE this cover. It's so gorgeous and perfectly fits the content within.

Delia's Shadow is an honest to goodness ghost story. Set about a decade after The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, Delia Martin returns home to San Francisco for her best friends wedding, haunted by a ghost she calls Shadow. Shadow torments Delia with nightmares of her murder thirty years ago, a murder eerily similar to those of an uncaught serial killer who appears to be killing again, catapulting Delia into a hunt for the killer. Moyer promises the reader a good old fashioned ghost story and murder mystery and she does not disappoint.

I adored Moyer's writing. It's gorgeous, rich in detail and highly atmospheric. I also greatly admire the amount of research that must have gone into this book, I looked a few things up while reading and everything seemed to be spot on. While the book does also features the dreaded dual POV, switching between Delia and Gabe, it worked well with the story. Sometimes POV changes can be disruptive, but that wasn't the case here. They flowed seamlessly into each other and I enjoyed getting to see things from both characters.

For the most part I also really enjoyed how descriptive the scenes were. Although I haven't yet had a chance to visit San Francisco, it was easy to picture myself there through Moyer's descriptions of the architecture, weather and scenery. Moyer paints lovely visual scenes. What made this a less than perfect book for me was the simple fact that as lovely as the writing was, at times it was just a little too heavy and moved just a little too slowly for my, especially during the first 30% or so of the story. There were a few times when the detail was overwhelmingly too much, especially when I'm reading a long paragraph detailing what the characters are eating.

I really loved the story being told here, and it kept me spooked and anxious/impatient for answers throughout. Moyer kept me on my feet the entire time, accomplishing something incredibly rare in a mystery novel: I actually didn't figure out who the killer was until a paragraph before it was revealed. That never happens. I'm ridiculously good at guessing the who/why. It was creepy in all the right places and her ghosts definitely had teeth. I only had two major complaint about the plot. The first is is that we never get any real explanation about why Delia has the ability to see ghosts, or why she didn't see them after she moved. I really wish this had been explained more, but I'm hoping it will be more of a focus in later books. The second is a pivotal scene that happens towards the end with Gabe that I felt was just too rushed through. It was one of those blink and you miss it scenes and lacked the emotional punch it should have had.

As for the characters, Delia's Shadow is filled with tons of great ones, all well-developed and likable. Delia is lovely. Down to earth, brave, intelligent and with just the right amount of sass, she's one of my new favorites. And of course I fell utterly in love with Gabe. He has an old-soul vibe and a quiet strength that charmed my socks off. I also really loved all of the the minor characters, Sadie especially. She was a breath of fresh air when things got too dark and a perfect balance for Delia. Of all the characters though, Isadora was my favorite. She's strong, unconventional and mysterious and I hope there is much more of her in the future.

The relationships between Gabe and Delia, Delia and Sadie, Nick and Sadie and Nick and Gabe were all fascinating as well. This is a group of people I would have loved to have been friends with. I especially enjoyed the romance between Gabe and Delia. Despite the quick progression of their relationship, it felt completely organic. Given the high stakes environment they are thrown into and the amount of time they are spending together, it felt natural for them to fall in love so quickly. I also loved that their romance did not overshadow the more important aspects of the plot. It was just a quiet, steady presence that added rather than distracted.

I really loved this book and I want ya'll to be excited about it too. It was a wonderful debut and I look forward to getting my hands on a finished copy, as well as future books.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Its subtelty is its strength and its weakness 27 Dec. 2013
By  - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've been thinking for a while how to rate and describe Delia's Shadow. I've decided it would be best to sort out the good points and bad.

The Good:
Jaime Lee Moyer's experience in poetry gives her an excellent grasp of how words interact with each other on large scale. Her descriptions and word flow are among the best I've seen in a debut novel, though there are spots that could have used just a little more tweaking; in a sea of strong linguistics, any small blemish can make a horribly big deal of itself, sticking out on the page like a fleck of poop on otherwise lovely China.

Beyond the bare basics, Moyer's characters are wonderfully deep and real. Most of them are likable and sympathetic, and perhaps most satisfying, they care about manners. Not being an avid reader of historical fiction I'm not sure how big a role that plays, but it's so refreshing to see characters who have some social standards and care about how they affect other people, even if it's people they don't care for.

The bad:
Most of the conflict outside of the police investigation is personal and too subtle to create the suspense necessary to drive the story along. The plot is well-paced, but thin, with very little really going wrong, and feels like it drags on more than it really does. The characters should always, always come first in a story, but when the majority of the plot conflict depends on their emotions, you can have an unbalanced book that's hard to get through. I'm normally a quick reader and it would embarrass me to admit how long it took me to read this one.

Having said that, it was enjoyable enough that I would recommend it to those who like ghost stories and plots focused mostly on the emotional lives of the characters. It almost seems in Delia's Shadow that the investigation of a brutal serial killer is an accident. Luckily, Moyer's writing is not heavy-handed, so the realization that so little is really happening dawns on the reader more slowly.

Moyer says on her blog that she's currently working on more novels. My hope is that she puts more effort into having things go wrong in the plot. (I think she might suffer from the same problem I and many inexperienced novelists have -- it can be very difficult to force bad things to happen to your beloved characters.) If she can learn to balance her excellent characters and descriptive powers with a truly suspenseful plot, she has the potential to be a superb novelist.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A mystery without drama, a romance without mystery, and a ghost story with very little haunting 6 Oct. 2013
By A Customer - Published on
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.

The beauty of DELIA'S SHADOW starts at the cover for me; haunting, rich, and mysterious. The concept of a haunting in history, pairing paranormal themes with the grace and politeness turn of the century San Francisco was an irresistible lure.

But for a story that promises so much of the gothic tradition, I found these shadows to be thin. I struggled to find an emotional connection with Delia. Even the nature of her haunting is so ubiquitous, so evenly accepted by those around her, that it becomes simple mechanics rather than a dramatic twist. I expected Delia to have a singular ability, but rather, Moyer's writes a world where the veil between the living and the dead is quite thin, and several characters have their own interactions with ghosts before too long.

That initial change in perspective (from "singular ghost whisperer" to "everyone seems on board with ghosts"), made me no less interested in the story, but the dry delivery and shallow descriptions made the story skim along without pulling me deeper. DELIA'S SHADOW is a mystery without drama, a romance without mystery, and a ghost story with very little haunting. Other than the over the top violence implied for the central boogeyman, his ghostly victims offer very little pathos. I waited for Shadow's dream sequences to unfold, I waited for Delia to unbend enough to explore the phenomena haunting her, and all the while Gabe and Sophie and Jack clicked through the story like a clockwork cast. Part of this emotional distance is due to the time period, and fans of quiet restraint will enjoy the social mechanics of this book, but Moyer's writing style doesn't promise any deeper emotions behind the social facade.

Despite those issues, DELIA'S SHADOW is a ghost story worth a read for some. Those who like period drama may enjoy this historical mystery, with shadowy victims walking amongst the living as a killer terrorizes London. As someone who reads a lot of mysteries, period fiction, and paranormals, DELIA'S SHADOW promised much more than it delivered.

Sexual Content: Kissing, references to sex.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ... can count on about me it is that I love a good ghost story 7 Nov. 2014
By kindlemom1 (My Guilty Obsession) - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
If there is one thing you can count on about me it is that I love a good ghost story, it doesn't matter the time of day, year, season, month, I just love a good haunting tale that will leave you freaked out and sleeping with the lights on. Be it a murder mystery with vengeful spirits or a sweet tale of someone simply wanting to pass a message on to a loved one, I love them all.

This was the best kind of ghost story. One with a mixed blend of genres that will leave you breathless and completely enthralled. A dark tale set in a time long ago that is just as much rich in detail as it is in mystery.

You will be left swooning at the subtle sweet romance that is just enough lightness to really keep this story from being too much. From being too much about an evil madman on the loose murdering the innocent and from it being too haunting to want to continue. Instead you will be wrapped up in the story and eager to learn more and for Gabe and Jack to catch the culprit.

This has everything I love in a good historical, everything I love in a good ghost story, and everything I love in a really good suspenseful mystery.

The next book is high on my priority list because I can't wait for more.
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