There’s something special about this book. There’s Leif, of course. Oh boy he’s something special, especially turning up in a hick, backwater town – and therein lies the specialness. It was a hick backwater town. Nothing special went on there. It was full of ordinary people going about their ordinary lives. Even Dan and his little family were solid, ordinary people. There was nothing special about them.
There were, of course, strong paranormal elements to the book. Dan was a Walker-between-the-worlds, someone who guards humans against nasty spirits and who help all spirits, nasty and nice, to find their way to the next place, wherever that might be.
Completely ordinary people, who have cookouts and make pies, call Dan to deal with their hauntings, and Dan had to make time for the farm chores before he went after the baddies.
To me, it’s the sheer ordinariness that gives the book its unique charm. I can not only clearly imagine these people, I can see myself as one of them.
The book wasn’t perfect. The relationship between Leif and Dan could be annoying at times, and Dan’s constant insecurity and issues about his mother’s death was a bit repetitive, but on the whole, the book did a masterful job of balancing the mundane and the fantastical.
And it has a super hot goth guy. Always a bonus