There is an evil awakening. At the Lost Souls academy, students aren’t your typical everyday alumni. Rejects from clans, packs, and covens walk these halls, but there’s something more sinister haunting the academy. A resident ghost has a new student, Zarya, on the fight to banish it. Will her actions cause more enemies at her new school than friends? ‘I’m coming for you.’ A message from beyond has Zarya fearful. Her skills are underdeveloped, but as a ghost hunter, she must stand and fight this new evil. Can Zarya grow to be the ghost hunter she’s destined to be or will forces overpower her and bring chaos and destruction to the Lost Souls academy?
The Waking of Ghosts is a story about a teenage girl trying to find her place between several magical worlds when she doesn’t feel like a part of any one of them. The introduction to Zarya was fresh and inviting. She doesn’t beat around the bush, and she doesn’t try to explain herself. She doesn’t even try to make out like she’s a terribly great person, since the opening scene involves her “banishing” a ghost that isn’t really there for payment. All she’s really doing is trying to get by. As the story continues, getting by becomes harder and harder with a potentially murderous ghost stalking her. The prologue presents an equally intriguing introduction to the character of Avery, who is trying to set up her own magic school, though we don’t get many details about it until later on in the story.
Although Zarya is the main character, the story is told from a few different viewpoints, and it balances them all fairly well. We understand what each character’s goal is and their outlook on life, and the scenes from their perspectives serve the story well, filling in gaps that other characters would not have been able to.
It’s important to note that this book is the first of a duology, and it’s not a Harry-Potter-style book where the initial installment is designed as a standalone. It’s more like the Uglies series in that the first book sets up the next, and there’s clearly more to follow. Both approaches have their own faults and merits, but with only two books in the series, it’s certainly a manageable read. I’d say if the plot interests you and/or a sample pulls you in, just get the two books together and read them as one longer piece. They almost could be if the first book was trimmer. That would be its one drawback, in my mind. There’s a decent amount of filtering, repeating information, and characters reiterating their goals to themselves when the POV switches back to them. But I also read the book fairly quickly, and if you’re the type to take long breaks in between reading sessions, you might find those reminders more helpful.
Overall, this is a pretty solid book with an interesting cast of characters.