Review: Spiritus (Spiritus #1) by Dana Michelle Burnett
I was immediately intrigued by Burnett’s unique twist on the stereotypical girl meets boy story. Ghosts! If that isn’t out of the box, I don’t know what is. The protagonist, Becca McCallistor, is an average high school student who’s been uprooted from everything she knows in her home of Indianapolis, to Corydon. What she finds there is about to turn her world upside down.
- Title: Spiritus
- Series: Spiritus book #1
- Author: Dana Michelle Burnett
- Prominent Characters: Becca McCallistor, Jonah Ericson, Alistor Sinclair
- Recommended Reader Age: 15+
- Sexual Content Level: light to moderate
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
Becca McCallistor lead a pretty normal life. That is, until her mother was killed in a tragic car accident two years prior. In hopes of starting fresh, and putting their past behind them, Becca’s father uproots her from her home in Indianapolis to the small town of Corydon, where he grew up. When Becca and her two new friends decide to hold a séance in her room during a sleepover, they unwittingly invite a young Civil War soldier into her home. Becca begins having strange dreams soon after. Is someone watching her? Someone from another time? And if so, who is this handsome young man, and why does she feel like she knows him? Eager to find out about this anomaly, she goes to the library and research the old house and town’s history. During her research, she finds an unsettling connection to herself. The ending is a bit of a cliff-hanger and will leave you wanting more.
Spiritus started off well, with a ghost story and a complicated protagonist, and soon got plodded down in a lot of telling instead of showing in terms of the school scenes, and then I began to lose interest. However, this feels like a first draft, and that’s not a bad thing – it’s almost complete, but that’s just it. Almost. Unfortunately, I found the world building to be a bit thin, as well as character development. I could describe to you in perfect detail what Jonah’s biceps looked and how beautiful the clear blue of Alastor’s eyes are, but I know very little about the characters themselves. After the initial school scenes, I felt that I could no longer connect with Becca, and I believe that it could be the aforementioned avalanche of telling instead of showing. I would definitely like to read another version of this – an edited, tightened version. However, Spiritus is a solid debut. While I did have some issues with the storyline, the excitement of the plot left me wanting more.
Jonah’s biceps aren’t the only tantalizing thing about him:
“I fought the urge to lean close enough to smell his hair.”
Becca on the injustice of being in love with a ghost:
I cried against his nothingness as he held me. I felt trapped, caught in the wrong time and cheated by fate.
If you liked Spiritus…
If you enjoyed Spiritus, you might enjoy the Twilight series (starting with Twilight) by Stephenie Meyer, or the Fallen series (starting with Fallen) by Lauren Kate. Spiritus draws many parallels from the two. Replace vampires and angels with a smoldering ghost from the Civil War era, and you’ve got a simmering dose of Spiritus!
This story has potential, Burnett has potential, and I just think she needs to push things to the limit of what they can be. The same for this story. I definitely look forward to her next work, though, and hope she keeps up with this series.