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Wraith [Paperback]

Phaedra Weldon
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.26
Price: 8.22 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Books; First Edition, First Printing edition (5 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441014976
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441014972
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 14.2 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,397,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
ONE of the perks of astral travel is the inability to smell, especially when I glide into restaurants that haven't thrown out their raw meat in a day or two. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four and a Half Stars 20 Jun 2007
Zoe Martinique is a private investigator with a difference, she has the ability to travel outside of her body - an ability she uses to find out information she wouldn't otherwise have access to. However, one night, things go seriously wrong when she witnesses a murder, worse still, the killer is also a Traveler and tries to pursue her. Now it's a race against time, as Zoe tries to help the detective investigating the case, whilst staying one step ahead of the bad guys.

Bear with the first few pages where Zoe introduces herself and explains the mechanics of astral travel because once the story gets going you're in for a wild ride. Wraith is written in a first person, stream of consciousness style that won't be for everybody - we get to hear every thought that passes through Zoe's head without benefit of a filter. But by chapter 7 I've got a smile on my face and am running with the story. I don't want to put the book down.

As well as the mystery of the murder and why the killer can see Zoe (be warned it gets complicated so you'll need to concentrate), we get to eavesdrop on the various relationships in Zoe's life. This book has one of the most realistic mother/daughter relationships I've read. To begin with it seems very fraught, with the inevitable frictions that such close relationships can develop, but eventually you see that there is an incredibly deep love between the two characters - this made the book for me.

Zoe does take stupid risks, a fact for which she is somewhat apologetic. Unlike some TSTL heroines I think there is a valid reason for her behaviour. She first astral projects during a brutal attack which leaves her in a coma.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Ethereal Adventure 24 Sep 2007
'Have Powers, will travel...
Zoe Martinique was just your average, single female, past 25, looking for love and/or exciting job opportunities. Until life handed her the dubious ability to travel outside her body at will-which she turned into a career, hiring herself out as a literal spook. Industrial espionage, domestic surveillance, you name it-when she's traveling she can see but can't be seen...Then one night things get out of hand while she is out-of-body: Zoe witnesses a murder. What's worse, the killer is also a traveler-and he most definitely not only sees her, but tries to pursue her.
To save herself, Zoe must somehow guide the very handsome detective assigned to the case to the truth without revealing herself. And with the help of her semi-psychic mom, a pair of gay ghosts, and her best friend (a goth techno-witch), she also has to figure out exactly who-and what-the murderer is, before he finds her and puts an end to her traveling-permanently'

'Wraith' is the first novel in the Zoe Martinique Investigation series. What a great start! This novel gets only better with the more pages you turn. Zoe is a 'down-to-Earth' humerous and stubborn 'narrator'. I really liked the interaction between all the energetic characters in this book and was left intrigued and extremely curious as to some information we are given, but is not expanded upon. This novel reads like a mystery and just when you think you have it worked out, another thing or some-thing pops up! Great!
I finished this book wanting to start the next one. I was left wanting more! An interesting and thrilling read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An unusual gift, to be invisible 28 May 2008
Zoe Martinique is a PI, mostly because of her unique ability to astral travel, which can help when spying on the odd unfaithful spouse or finding out where the second set of books were hidden. But during one investigation Zoe stumbles on another astral walker who happens to kill someone - and knows Zoe saw him. Worse, he happens to be an astral walker too, and one with more abilities than her own.

Zoe is a very human character, she's got fairly significant flaws, as do we all. It's a well written book, and progresses with reasonable pace - a little slow at times, but satisfying overall - and is about a supernatural person in an otherwise fairly normal world. I normally eat these books right up. Yet something about this one just stopped me from loving it. I felt a distance from the central character and the story as a whole. It just wasn't especially engaging for me.

Worth a read, but not one I'm keeping.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Promissing start: Terrible ending 24 Feb 2008
I've just finished reading this and, while it was a great read from start to... erm... near the end, I couldn't believe the author could spoil it so badly right at the end. I'm referring to the (approx) last seven pages (excluding epilogue), where what might be seen as loose ends were being tidied up, the plot revealed, the true villain unmasked... and a resurrection of a plot thread that either should have been left open for the next book or left closed as completed but not, absolutely not, brought back having closed it once.

Some might disagree, but I found that one point terribly disappointing and spoilt an otherwise good book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.3 out of 5 stars  55 reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oogy 1 Sep 2007
By Melia Galloway - Published on
This book looked really interesting so I was excited to read this book. The story and plot of this book did happen to be really engaging and interesting. It was certainly different then all the vampire/werewolf books on the market these days.

However, the writing and characters are simply horrible. The author seemed to try way too hard to bring Zoe off as a funny likeable character but only succeeded in making the character annoying and fake. Zoe is a 28 yr old trying to act like a teen-bopper, but not succeeding. She also seems to take nothing serious even when the situation calls for a serious moment. Furthermore, Zoe has an extremely annoying way of using mental notes pretty much every other page (i.e. Mental Note: Eeeewww). The author also seemed to have a weird thing for using the word Oogy constantly through this book. If that is even a word than I am glad it is never used in everyday life. Sad to say, when Zoe got into trouble I was quite glad she did because her stupidity certainly called for it.

Detective Daniel Frasier is supposed to be a very attractive man (as we are told CONSTANTLY through the book) but is unfortunately a very unrealistic character. As soon as he and Zoe meet, he is spewing facts about the case he is currently working on. What type of competent detective does that with a perfect stranger? No wonder no one wants to be his partner. The second time they meet (which is about 1 hour of accumulated time the characters have known each other) Daniel is kissing Zoe in happiness over her helping him on the case. That just doesn't work.

Overall, the plot and underlining story could of made this a really awesome book and that is the only reason I was even willing to finish this book. However, the author really needs to work on her writing style and characters because that dragged the book down from a possible 5 star to a 2 star read (which is even being generous as it deserves more like 1 stars).
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Like, who cares? 23 Oct 2007
By C. Glover - Published on
This book did not engage me. It lacks the essential ingredient, the "who cares" factor. The author did not create a complete world that I could see intersecting with mine. The story failed to convey a credible threat, fear, or end of the world danger. It did not make me care about any of the main characters. The author had an opportunity to flesh them out but deliberately refused to do so in a tacky attempt to make me want to read the next book in the series. I don't think so.

Most of all, Wheldon (the author) did not explain the story in a way that I could understand. The urban fantasy has to be real enough to be believable. I could not get into Zo's world, in any dimension. And let me caution you. If you suffer this book to the end you will be severely disappointed. The Epilogue offers an explanation of the case that is messy and unsatisfying. The last page is a terrible set-up for a future book that is not worth waiting to read. If Wheldon continues to write she has got to get better. (No real sex. Not really sexy. No comprehendible violence. Some profanity. Just generally bad.)
47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cliched and Too Annoying to Finish! 7 Oct 2007
By Kindle Customer - Published on
How many cutsie Betsy-like heroines do we need in the paranormal genre? The Answer: One too many...this one. She likes eating ice cream! Thinks Brad Pitt is hot! She spouts cliched inanities as if this is fresh. This book has potential, but is ruined by the stilted attempts at lightness and wit. The plot is fine, the powers interesting, the supporting characters are good. But this book is as generic as Atlanta in while trying to give insight to the city the author name drops chain restaurants! That is what is wrong with this book. It substitutes vacant, repetitive -isms for actual content and it ruins this book to the point of making it unreadable.

Don't waste your time, more frustration than its worth.
45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Complete Waste of Time 22 Aug 2007
By Rienne - Published on
Where to start? This was a horrible book! The only reason I think I finished it was so that I could warn the world to avoid this piece of trash.

First off: Zoe. She's stupid, whiney, childish, and man hungry. I have NEVER run into such a man hungry character that wasn't part of some comedy series. She lusted after this cop like he was the last man on Earth. And the references to her vibrator and and that HORRIBLE "he was so cute I felt an egg drop" reference were just idiotic. Zoe wants to know why she's single? Her desperation perfume would be a dead give away.

Supporting Characters: Cliched. The mysterious mom who goes from being supportive to over protective to irritating her daughter. The "quirky" side kick who isn't very quirky. It felt forced. Like the author was trying too hard to make them endearing. And then there's hte clueless cop. I think he was an escapee from a Harlequin romance novel. He had no personality and felt the need to reveal details of an ongoing case with a civilian he met in a bar??? Come on! He and Zoe are made for each other: they're both idiots!

The Language: I love pop culture. I love pop culture references. But I think the author needs to brush up on hers. The Buffy reference mad NO SENSE and the X-Men references were tacked on. I think the author had only seen a trailer for the movie and not the movie itself (let alone read the comics). The other references that just felt too tacked on and were too numerous to be believable. I didn't even know it was possible to misuse the term "mental note" but the author definately proved it was possible. The author's slang also needs an update; I don't know anyone who uses "Not!' anymore and supposedly I'm the same age as the main character. ARGH! And if I heard the word "oogy" ONE MORE FREAKING TIME....

The Plot: The plot was actually half decent although it got so convoluted at the end I couldn't make sense of what was going on. Which was fine cuz Zoe didn't understand it either. And what did the last page of the book have to do with anything????

If you want to kill brain cells, read this book. If you want to save your intelligence and blood pressure, skip it. Hopefully the author has learned that she's not the best writer and improves or stops writing altogether. I'm cool either way.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it, but not blind to its flaws 5 Jun 2008
By Robin C. - Published on
I had a ton of fun reading this book, but I can see where others have noticed that it's somewhat uneven. Personality-wise, main character Zoe is your everyday, run-of-the mill cool-but-a-little impulsive paranormal heroine. But her ability - to leave her body at will, and travel on the "astral plane" - leads to a very interesting, and very original story.

The author's worldbuilding is very thorough and very spectacular. However it's also quite involved. It's clearly meant to unfold over several books, and can be confusing when Zoe has to rely on less-than-reliable sources for her information (which she often does). That said, it's still a very promising setup, and one that's fun to learn along with Zoe. You've just got to be prepared for some pretty big 'gotchas,' and surprises.

Zoe is a fun character in her own right, but does very little to distinguish herself from other paranormal heroines. Her supporting cast is endearing though, and I though her relationship with her eccentric mother was a particular bright spot. She's also less romantic and more openly hormonal that your average female in literature; and on the one hand she's brash and impulsive, but on the other she tends to own up to her mistakes, and certainly places blame squarely (but not obnoxiously) on herself when she fails to learn from them. Her mistakes tend to stem more from her impulsive nature than any outright stupidity.

The plot is intriguing, and tests Zoe's mettle in situations heroines in other books usually manage to luck out of. But it does get more complicated as things go on, and at the end I felt sad the book was over, but also like I kind of needed a flow chart and maybe a diagram to fully understand the setup for the next book. Or at least a reread with notes.

Which I might go ahead and do. I'm definitely interested enough to pick up the next book. Weldon does a lot of things right, and there's just plain enough fun to keep me interested. Your Mileage May Vary.
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