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Psychic Surveys Book Two: Rise To Me - A Supernatural Thriller
Psychic Surveys Book Two: Rise To Me - A Supernatural Thriller
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Really disappointing, 9 April 2015
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I desperately wanted to like this book as I adored the first in the series ('The Haunting of Highdown Hall') and couldn't put it down, but sadly this sequel just doesn't compare. It's as if it's been rushed into print to capitalise on the success of the first.

For a start, the writing itself isn't a patch on 'Highdown Hall' – which was much more deftly written and had genuine pace. This one is almost childishly written in places, with clumsy sentence construction, simplistic descriptions and annoying idiosyncrasies of style that I don't remember in the previous book. There are also lots of basic errors – grammatical and otherwise – that would have been picked up if it had been proof-read.

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't expecting this to be the next Man Booker winner but I was expecting an entertaining read – all this, combined with a much weaker plot, made it seem like hard work.

It wasn't just the poor quality of a lot of the writing this time that was disappointing, the story line wasn't as involved or gripping as Highdown Hall's either. It was quite obvious from early on where it was all going to end up – in a big show down – and how it was going to turn out. In Highdown Hall there was far more mystery, the more complicated plot had lots of twists and turns that kept you guessing right up until the end (and more cases for the Psychic Surveys team which added extra interest). I also missed the humour that Ms Struthers made such good use of before.

In the first book, the characters of Ruby, her family, team, clients etc and the wonderful ghost dog Jed, were all more skillfully drawn, you could really picture them, where they worked and lived, and what they did. With 'Rise to Me' it's obvious that you're expected to have read the first book in the series already – which not every one will have – so this time the characters are just quickly sketched with lots of clumsy references back to the first book and the 'Highdown Hall' case (she even gives one aspect of the first plot away at one point, which I won't tell you here!).

Although Ms Struthers talks about the paranormal in such authoritative tones that you suspect she may even have had first-hand experience, in my opinion she's in danger of losing that 'authority' now (along with her audience) because of the amateurish writing style. It's such a shame she doesn't seem to have taken as much time crafting this novel as she did 'Highdown Hall' (I haven't read her romances so can't compare those).

However, it wasn't all bad. There are still flashes of the author's brilliant ability to build tension and mystery – particularly when Ruby herself starts being 'taken over' – and she does bring in some interesting historical snippets which I hadn't heard of before (plus it was nice to find out what had happened to make Ruby's mother Jessica the way she is in book one), but on the whole 'Rise to Me' still felt like a wasted opportunity of creating a worthy follow up.

I would have liked to have been able to give it more stars because I loved the first book so much but, unlike 'Highdown Hall' (which I enthusiastically recommended to everyone), I won't be recommending this one.


Back to Creative Writing School
Back to Creative Writing School
Price: £1.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful source of inspiration, 1 Jan. 2014
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This stimulating little book is a wonderful source of encouragement, inspiration and ideas that really work. As a previous reviewer has suggested Bridget 's is a friendly voice at your side, the voice of experience, humorous, helpful and realistic. She entertains with amusing anecdotes, shares a lot of herself with us, gives no-nonsense advice and helpful lists and a profusion of creative and original exercises to get you writing. And they really work - they have been tried and tested on her writing students -of whom I'm one-and we've been amazed at the diversity and originality of results.
I would wholeheartedly recommend Bridget's book to anyone - at whatever stage of their writing career -who has ever stared in despair at that blank page.


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