SEER: The Ghosts of Gray Fable by Eli Bloom is a chilling and thrilling YA novel.
With a bold plot line and an unforgettable protagonist, SEER instantly stands out as a paranormal classic. Author Eli Bloom captures youth, innocence and courage within these pages, while brushing on topical subjects that will strike a chord in readers of any age.
While the premise of the book makes it seem as though this book focuses heavily on the events of the possible school shooting, and everything Gray Fable might do to stop it, the writer is more keenly interested in revealing the detailed personalities of his characters. The relationship between Gray and her father is depicted beautifully, and her internal monologue and narrative is precocious and enjoyable.
Gray is a brilliant child, and one capable of handling more than anyone else suspects. She is similar in some ways to other characters in YA fiction – withdrawn and classed as a bit of a “weirdo,” but with countless secrets and an intriguing destiny. However, she is also unique in other ways, because she recognizes the power that she possesses, and actively chooses to use it to better the world around her. There isn’t much internal struggle within Gray, making her a heroic figure from the start.
The novel is filled with interesting allusions and red herrings between the subplots, making for a very engaging and suspenseful read. Gray’s strange relationship with Jennifer, and her early interactions with Chase, build the tension incredibly effectively, and readers can feel the subtle tone of danger building within the chapters.
The writing is generally very good, and the author understands how to write in a casual, yet beautiful style: “Jennifer’s house looked like it was built five minutes ago, on a street with a bunch of new houses that more or less looked the same – although this was good news in a way, because spirits always seemed to attach themselves to old things.” The author gets his point across simply, but does it with a bit of artistic flair that is rarely done well in YA fiction.
There are a few moments that are juvenile, either in the tone of dialogue or the ideas being presented, but they are few and far between. The most important part of the book isn’t necessarily the plot at hand, but the subject matter that it addresses. Bullying, lack of communication, social isolation, youthful tragedy, gun control…these are issues that are presently on many people’s minds, particularly in America, and this book approaches that delicate topic from a rather unique angle.
It moves away from a serious or political tone by adding the paranormal elements, but regardless of which side of the spirit world you reside on, certain philosophical questions are undeniable in the writing, which gives the book authority and credibility as more than pulp YA fiction. Combine that level of detail and thought with a plot that is genuinely unpredictable, and you have a knockout novel in the genre that offers more depth than you might expect. Eli Bloom shows himself to be a significant and forceful writer, and SEER: The Ghosts of Gray Fable proves to be well worth the time.
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