I got this book in exchange for an honest review. And truly the concept of choosing where you want the story to go fascinates me but this one just didn’t thrill me.
Dead Letter Office by Kira Snyder
Blurb: 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.
Rating: 3 Stars
This book was interesting. Like other reviewers this was my first interactive novel. I am not sure I really like it, the picking I mean. At first I thought this is amazing I love that I get to choose. But halfway through I just started thinking what am I missing by not choosing the other path. This was not helped by a couple of things that were mentioned that must have been related to another choice. However, once I finished the book I did go back and select the other options just to find out what I missed. I only scanned the first few pages after each choice to get a feel. One choice did not change the writing at all. Which is when I realized that after each choice the new writing always felt like being thrown in head first and you feel like you missed a few pages. I can assure you that no matter your choice it was like that and the story did end up in the same place with slight variations to the dialogue. This story was a quick read and the fact that there are multiple versions in the same file means that your percentage is going to jump around. I did not feel like we got to know enough about any of the characters. Especially Sloan, he gets thrown in at the end when you have to choose a boy and I was super confused thinking when was he ever in the running. I wish there had been more about the relationships with the boys or take it out completely, it just muddied the waters. And last the mystery aspect was neat but I never felt invested in solving it. It could have been about Luc and I would have liked it more. This was just too many subplots going on at once. You have the new school drama with Peyton and the other girls. The relationship stuff with Luc and Donovan and then the mystery on top and none of it felt cohesive. I did still like the story, it just could have been better, and I feel like it would be enjoyed by young readers. I am curious what the next book is about since this is a series.