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Save Her!


Would you risk your relationships and your sanity to reveal the fate of a long dead child?  In The Holy Spirit  by M. Shays, the enticing lure of forgotten history threatens to derail a couple’s attempt to rebuild their marriage. Colin and Brin are an all American couple with good looks and a dreamy love story.  A hideous twist of fate sends their enviable life off track and drives them apart. In order to rebuild, they move to a new state, but the hope for a new future is blocked by both earthly and supernatural forces.  

I enjoyed cozying up on the couch to read this supernatural tale.  I went through the gamut of emotions as I followed both threads of the narrative. It was enthralled by the story and found the conclusion to be appropriate and satisfying. 

This is a slow burn haunting in the midst of a very hot romance. Unfortunately, that romantic tension is not between Colin and Brin. What starts as a few jump-scares reveals a historic mystery. Likewise, what starts as flirty banter with others, inches towards the unthinkable for the perfect couple. As the narrative unfolds, the revelations shake both marital and mental bonds. 

This story is well paced and hits all of the technical marks making it a smooth and easy read. The author does a great job conveying the physical tension of a haunting  and the emotional toll of the breakdown of a romantic relationship. This story is told from alternating POVs and the reactions/emotions are consistent over the narrative. Each secondary character is fleshed out and has impact and agency in the story.  

In addition to the obvious reconciliation themes and the religious themes (which I won’t expand on due to spoilers), there is the theme of exploration.  Both Colin and Brin explore, to varying degrees, relationships with other people even as Brin explores the history of the region and its relationship to the haunting. There is also the theme of belonging/assimilation.  Will Brin become the perfect wife? Will Colin opt for a partner and car more fitting for a corporate VP?  Did the ghostly girl fail to assimilate?  Finally, there is the theme of revelation.  Without spoilers, the narrative reveals secrets that topple the status quo. 

This book is diverse and inclusive. It tackles the campaigns against marginalized groups (Native Americans)  and the racial ignorance of the dominant group without chastisement or dismissive tones. The harsh reality of the historical fallout is not glossed over and handled well. The reader should be warned that painful racial names are used and minors are hurt because of their ethnicity. 

The Holy Spirit is a great horror book and I give it four stars. I recommend it for anyone who appreciates supernatural horror.

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