Ghostly sleuths hunt for a solution to a haunting problem in this young adult paranormal tale which asks and answers the question – “can you meet the man of your dreams even after you’ve died?”
Phoebe Irving’s family moved from San Francisco to a small English country village when her step-dad inherited The Arnaud Manor House, which, it turned out, was haunted by an evil, blood sucking ghost. Imagine their surprise when Phoebe and her two friends Miles and Eleanor find out they are ghosts as well! The three teens all had something to resolve before Going On and they had thought that defeating the evil entity threatening Phoebe’s family would enable them to do so. Yet they are still around and since they are, they’ve joined the family on an eagerly anticipated trip to France.
While visiting Versailles and oohing and ahhing over all its beauty and extravagance, several things happen to kill the joy of the holiday, the first of which is that Miles and Phoebe find themselves involuntarily travelling through time. Worse, Phoebe’s baby sister Tabby seems to have been sucked into the time vortex as well. The other big problem is that some version of the evil blood-sucker they had killed in England seems to be alive and well in France.
As if those two issues aren’t bad enough the situation is worsened by the fact that Eleanor can’t make the time-travel trips with Miles and Phoebe, a problem which places a great deal of stress on the trio’s relationships. Miles suspects that Eleanor might be crushing on him but since he and Phoebe are together, he hasn’t given it much thought. Now Eleanor’s feelings are becoming more obvious and he’s wondering how it will affect their ability to fight this latest ghoul, especially since the ghoul seems capable of being in both timeframes at once. When they all realize that what Miles and Phoebe see in the past just might save them from their problems in the present, they are ecstatic. Then their love triangle becomes a quad when Miles’ former girlfriend starts to hold séances – and to top things off, the ghoul starts threatening the living. Who knew the afterlife would be so complicated?
This second book in the series is not quite as intense as the first and in fact, can be downright playful at times. That worked fine for this story since the main mystery isn’t as gruesome as the one in the first novel. This tale also moves us away from the horror aspects inherent in Haunted and propels us towards a more paranormal angle. Our ghostly heroes are finding out that there is a great deal more to the mystery of Phoebe’s family heritage than a haunted house. I thought this aspect of the narrative was handled really well and I am interested in finding out what happens next.
The relationship aspect of the tale has some flaws though. While I was intrigued by what happened between Miles and his former girlfriend, and how the teens continued to ache for those they left behind, I didn’t like the love triangle played up here. Phoebe and Miles have a good thing going and the Eleanor distraction is just that, a distraction. It doesn’t really add anything to the story.
This book also lacks a bit of the punch packed by the previous one simply because everyone is now further along on their death journey. The teens have come to terms with their demises and the main thing that now hurts them about their deaths are how they have affected the people they left behind. This is definitely good in terms of character growth but it takes a bit of the emotional impact from the tale.
In spite of those flaws I enjoyed Betrayed enough to recommend it to anyone looking for a paranormal read. You can never go wrong with a good ghost story.