Dust To Dust by Melissa C. Walker
Series: Ashes #2
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Publish Date: May 5, 2015
Find it here: Goodreads / Amazon
When Callie McPhee miraculously recovers from a tragic accident that should have taken her life, she thought her connection to the ghost world would be severed forever. And that she would never see Thatcher—the ghost she fell in love with in the hereafter—again. But when she receives unexpected signs from Thatcher, she’s led down a dark road toward the angry souls who once tried to steal her soul’s energy for another chance at life.
Now Callie must prevent the real world and the spirit world from colliding, and that could mean saying good-bye to people she’d never imagined she’d lose. (excerpt from Goodreads)
Callie is overjoyed when she realizes that she can sense Thatcher around her (she still has strong feelings for him), and she eventually learns that he is there to protect her…but from what?
1. The poltergeists figured out in the first book that they could harness Callie’s energy and use it to their benefit, causing all sorts of trouble both in Prism and on earth. NOW they are trying to take this a step further and cause permanent changes to things on earth, which can be devastating for some people, including some of the people that Callie loves most. Callie is willing to do anything in her power to stop these poltergeists and keep people safe, including risk her own life.
There are instances of pure meanness by the poltergeists along with some pretty neat action sequences. This led up to a scene in which Callie had to make some big decisions – saving some that she loves could possibly risk losing others that she loves. There is plenty to go along with this plot thread and it is probably the driving force of the book, but getting too detailed here is not necessary. I just found it an interesting arc across the two books, I liked the trickster-antics of the poltergeists and their manipulative ways, and I appreciate all that they brought to the series even though they were the actual bad guys.
2. This love triangle was so tricky! It was tricky in the first book and it was no less tricky in this installment. I’m not sure that I’ve come across a situation like this before in my own reading and I was actually surprised by how everything ended up – I liked it. I think there is more resolution than I could have hoped for. Still, with any love triangle, there is heartbreak and that is present here too. (I’m interested in seeing how readers respond here.)
I also liked:
3. The new character, Dylan. Most of the characters returned from the first book, which is always fun, but Dylan is a fresh, quirky voice in this book and it is actually very needed. Dylan’s position in the story is quite original, he is funny, and he brings relief to the story during a couple of scenes that need it.
4. Relationships. I love the way Callie and her father have a fresh, restored relationship after her accident, as if her brush with death has opened their eyes to how precious life is. This isn’t a topic that is explored very often in young adult books from my experience, and I love seeing it written in a way that feels authentic and realistic across both of the books in this duology. I also love the relationship between Callie and her best friend, Carson. Carson is a little on the sometimes-annoying side, but Callie is too at times – what BFF isn’t every now and then, right? What these two have is a friendship that transcends those annoying and trying times and appears quite genuine, a real love for one another, and I love that representation in this series. This is one thing that I notice consistently in Melissa C. Walker’s books – great friendships.
Melissa C. Walker’s Ashes Series is certainly a departure from her contemporary young adult, but I enjoyed it. I think that if I’m honest, it’s most fair to say that I love the contemporary the best, but this series is definitely fun. I love her take on the afterlife and ghosts, and I love that she is always able to bring a very subtle spiritual undertone to her stories without being annoying or hurtful. Dust to Dust is a fitting sequel to Ashes to Ashes – I loved these characters and I do feel that they are all where they should be, doing what they should be doing. I recommend Dust to Dust to readers that enjoy stories involving ghosts, great friendships, and restored family relationships.