*I received a free ARC of this book via Rachel’s Random Resources blog tour. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Becky Moran has built a career claiming to talk to the dead. A successful clairvoyant medium, a Cambridge graduate with her own radio show ‘Medium Wave’ and a team dedicated to crafting the celebrity myth – because Becky Moran is a fake. Until, one night, something supernatural, inexplicable, breaks through live on air as she is broadcasting. Becky Moran discovers the paranormal is real, the dead can indeed speak and she is being pursued relentlessly towards a battle for her very survival.
‘This thing has no defined shape. Whatever energy exists within it, it cannot settle on a shape. The strands of darkness curl out and then wrap back inwards. The bulk of the shadow becomes concave, then bulbous, the height building in on itself but lacking any skeletal structure to wrap itself around. There are no eyes, no clearly defined head shape. It is creating itself from darkness, like a swirl of ebony ink dropped into a vat of putrid water, spreading silently….’
Medium Wave blends the religio-spiritual with the paranormal in a fascinating exploration of the ‘more’ that could possibly be ‘in Heaven and Earth’ (Hamlet, William Shakespeare).
The insight into the chicanery of faking psychic powers is interesting, but even more so is the author’s forays into horror (that mirror! The mouth!), and the afterlife (Heaven? Hell? Limbo? Spirits walking the Earth as ghosts, watching over their loved ones?). There is much comfort here for those who have lost and long to feel their loved ones are not gone, but the reader cannot fall into reassured complacency as the author repeatedly reminds us that with the light must come the dark.
The tone of the story is quite detached, as if narrated by an omniscient third-party who had no personal connection to the characters, so although the plot engaged me mentally, I never quite felt an emotional pull towards the characters or their fate. I also found it hard to get a feel for the side-characters, despite their clear differentiation in terms of physical description and mannerisms, again, perhaps due to the separation of reader and character via the arm’s-length style.
I particularly enjoyed the mystery elements of the story: the crystal, the mirror and the ghostly messages from the dead to their descendants/relatives, and as this is the first in a planned series, I would love if this developed into a psychic-detective type series, such as we’ve seen on TV programmes like Medium or Angel. There is so much potential here for both ‘monster-of-the-week’ type stories and also a wider overarching good vs evil struggle!
Medium Wave is a promising series starter that would be great for those who like a good ghost story and/or are interested in what may await us once our connection to the wavelength of this life is over.
She frowned deeply, puzzled as to why the crystal was swinging like a pendulum. She glanced up at her team who were transfixed by the quartz hanging off her finger, watching her broadcast from the Ops centre through the internal glass wall that divided them. She looked again at the stone. ‘I can see…’ She stopped speaking.
For the briefest moment, the dim lights in the radio studio began to flicker. Becky Moran saw the swirling light within the crystal fade, bleaching the quartz to a dried husk, the colour of an empty wasps’ nest. The stone stopped swinging and, alarmed, she almost dropped the chain from her fingers, until she realised that it must be – it had to be – just a trick of the light.
– Rose Zolock, Medium Wave
Medium Wave is available on Amazon right now!