Yesterday, I sat down with my brand-new, fresh out of the Amazon box copy of White Spirit by Amy Ravenel.
White Spirit, the first of book of Ms. Ravenel’s Restless Spirits series, begins with Tristan Johnson, a psychic with erratic and uncontrolled abilities who can see the past (often to tragic results), moving into a new apartment. Through backstory, we learn that one such event led to Tristan isolating himself from friends and family alike, hiding out in his parents’ basement because he cannot handle what happens when he loses control of his gift. The fact that his best friends Zack and Kayla have gotten him to leave the basement at all is a thing for his friends to celebrate, but that celebration is short lived when it is revealed that the apartment building is haunted and the ghost may or may not be a killer.
Days later, best friend Zack is dead and first Kayla and then Tristan himself become police suspects. With the help of their other friend, Drew, and Drew’s paranormal investigation team, Restless Spirits, Tristan sets out to solve the murder and prove that the ghost was to blame. Along the way. Tristan meets and falls in love with McKenna Ellison, a member the Restless Spirits team, and also a strong empath. McKenna has an outside connection to the crime, as her brother died in the same apartment ten years prior, and she never accepted that it was the suicide that police dubbed it.
I’ll stop right there, because that’s a lot of summary without spoiling too much of it for you.
The majority of the action bounces between Tristan and McKenna. They have another connection, as well. Both come from families with strong psychic abilities. McKenna, however, has learned to control hers and uses it to help people. Tristan has lived in fear of his.
What I like about these two characters is that they are both beautifully flawed and they both help each other. Tristan wants to help people he cares about, but is afraid to try, until McKenna is threatened by the ghost and he rises above his fear to not only help her, but ultimately help free the ghost from its torment as well. McKenna, likewise, is perfectly flawed because wants Tristan to live up to his potential ‘too soon’ for him. It is the conflict between them that ultimately helps him to make that leap.
They aren’t perfect. They butt heads. They get frustrated. They both say things they regret. It makes them human and relatable.
And I loved the complex backstories Ms. Ravenel gave to both of them. I can’t wait to read more of this new series and see what other little tidbits from their pasts and families she sprinkles into the next paranormal mystery.