The Promise of Lost Things by Helene Dunbar #bookreview #YA #supernatural #paranormal

Three characters with their own agendas converge in a town filled with mediums, where most residents make their living speaking to the dead…and there’s no such thing as resting in peace.

Russ Griffin has always wanted to be a fantastic medium. Growing up in the town of St. Hilaire, where most residents make their living by speaking to the dead, means there’s a lot of competition, and he’s always held his own. But Russ knows the town he loves is corrupt, and he’s determined to save it before the sinister ruling body, The Guild, ruins all he’s ever wanted.

Willow Rodgers is St. Hilaire royalty. An orphan, raised by The Guild, she’s powerful and mysterious. But she has secrets that might change everyone’s fate. She’s done with St. Hilaire, done with helping desperate customers who think mediums work for them. She wants to end the cycle for good and rid the town of ghosts, even if that means destroying the only home she’s ever known.

Asher Mullen lost his sister, and his parents can’t get over her death. They sought answers in St. Hilaire and were left brokenhearted. Now they want to expose St. Hilaire as a fraud. Asher is tasked with infiltrating the town, and he does that by getting to know Russ. The only problem is, he might be falling for him, which will make betraying Russ that much harder.

Russ, Willow, and Asher all have their own agendas for St. Hilaire, but one thing’s for certain, no one will be resting in peace.

This book has the same setting and many of the same characters as Prelude for Lost Souls, but is more of a companion novel and can easily be read as a standalone. Still, I’d recommend reading Prelude first.

Russ was my favorite character in Prelude for Lost Souls, so I was thrilled to see him return. He’s feeling the stress in this story – trying to covertly take down The Guild, missing best friend Dec, dealing with his boyfriend/ghost Ian, and carrying the responsibilities of youth counsel leader. Abandoned by his mother a few years ago, Russ and his father are also struggling to make ends meet. Although he may not make the best choices sometimes, Russ’s intentions are pure, and he and Ian only want to save St. Hilaire from the corrupt Guild. When alive, Ian was a powerful medium who enjoyed being the center of attention and maybe flaunted his power occasionally. The Guild is still intent on using him to their advantage, and Russ is now the only person who can summon him.

Asher’s situation broke my heart, and I wanted to reach through the pages and just hug him. After losing his sister in a tragic accident, he’s still grieving and is all but ignored by his parents. With the family moving so often because of his parents’ jobs, he has no friends and is excited at the thought of making one after he meets Russ. Asher’s parents are the hosts of a Ghost Hunters-type show and intent on proving the town of mediums are frauds. Willow is an ambitious girl who has plans for her future and St. Hilaire, and her motives are always suspect.

POVs alternate between Russ, Asher, and Willow, and Ian also has his say in one very revealing chapter. Conflicting agendas, misunderstandings, and story lines converge at an unexpected and somewhat bittersweet ending, but it’s perfect and hopeful. If you’re a supernatural/paranormal fan, I’d recommend both books.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

14 thoughts on “The Promise of Lost Things by Helene Dunbar #bookreview #YA #supernatural #paranormal

    1. I read a book by Mae Clair featuring a medium that was set in the late 1800s/early 1900s I think? She’d researched the techniques the fake mediums used and it was fascinating. They could get pretty creative. Thanks, Wendy!


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