Thursday, April 18, 2013

Review: Dead Letter Office (Parish Mail #1) by Kira Synder

Source: Received an ebook from the publisher for an honest review.
Publisher:Colliloquy, LLC
Release Date: Already Released.
Number of Pages: 212 (Paperback)


Description from Goodreads:
When Celia’s father is killed in Afghanistan, she moves with her mother to New Orleans, the city where her father grew up. Struggling to adjust and haunted by troubling dreams, Celia finds comfort in new friends like Tilly, a practicing witch, and Donovan, the son of police detective. On Halloween, bizarre supernatural occurrences rock the city. Celia meets the mysterious Luc and finds a letter, over a hundred years old, addressed to her.

The paranormal repercussions continue when Celia learns that Luc is the restless spirit of a young man murdered in 1854, only able to assume solid form at night. And then, to her shock, Celia finds that the letter, which describes the suspected murder of a man in 1870, contains uncanny parallels to the present-day death of Abel Sims, a homeless veteran.

With help from Luc, Tilly, and Donovan, Celia races to solve the murder—and the mystery of the letter—using both magical and forensic clues.

This is an Active Fiction title
"Active fiction" is a new type of e-reading experience that allows the reader and the author to interact with each other and the text in new and different ways.

Kira has written Parish Mail like a TV series–there are over-arching mystery and romantic story arcs that extend between the episodes, while each episode has a smaller case that is presented and solved. Along the way, she asks you, the reader, to make several small decisions as you read. These choices do not impact the overarching storyline, but certain combinations “unlock” clues to the series’ mystery, which are embedded in the text. Kira also asks you to cast a vote at the end of the episode, to get additional feedback from her fans about their preferred love interests in future episodes.

I don't actually read very many mysteries, but whenever I do, I remember just how awesome they are. It's kind of neat to have everything slowly unveil before you as the main character figures everything out. :D Dead Letter Office definitely did the whole mystery element well, and the fact that it is an active fiction title made it even better! Instead of being a passive reader experiencing everything as the character makes choices, you get to make the choices for them and that was fantastic!

I made sure to read all of the possible alternatives so that I could review this title fairly, and I really liked that the differences between paths were subtle, but they also stood out and did take the story in different directions. :D I definitely loved that you get to choose how it all unfolds though because that was a really interesting experience. :)

Along with the mystery element, Dead Letter Office was also shrouded in the paranormal, and since the main character, Celia, was pretty curious, she worked hard to try and figure out everything that's going on. I really enjoyed Celia! She was curious, and I liked the honest relationship she had with her mother. :D Donovan, Tilly, and Luc were also really interesting characters. I'm gonna try to spoil too much, but there is definitely a love triangle going on in this one...and boy is it a strange one. :P haha I loved that each character provided a different element to the story through their relationship with Celia, too. Through Donovan, you get to see the whole Detective side of uncovering the truth, and through Tilly, you get to see magic and all that fun stuff! :D Luc also brings a very interesting perspective, but I'm going to let him remain a mystery until you read Dead Letter Office yourself! ;D

Overall, I loved Dead Letter Office! The active fiction aspect of the story brought a whole new element to the story, and made the mystery even more fascinating. The characters were great, and the writing was descriptive and kept me riveted until the last page...in every version of the story that I tried! I'd recommend this one to mystery fans, and even to those who aren't a fan of mysteries. I think you'd really enjoy this one if you like crime stories on TV, too. All in all, I thought Dead Letter Office was fantastic, and I can't wait to read the sequel, Post Mortem! :D

Are you a fan of mysteries?
Would you enjoy getting to choose what the narrator does in a mystery?
Any other thoughts? :)

2 comments:

  1. Glad you enjoyed this one Ambur. I like the idea of the active reading titles.

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    Replies
    1. I am, too. :D They're really interesting, and it's kinda nice that if you want you can even go back and reread the alternative options! haha Although, I must admit, my first choices had my favourite outcomes when I read this one. ;) haha

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