Saturday 2 April 2011

One Hundred Candles by Mara Purnhagen

Pages - 235
Published by Harlequin Teen in February 2011

Book: Review copy via Net Galley kindly requested from Harlequin Teen
This book is the second in the Past Midnight Series.

I would never get used to spending Christmas in a an insane asylum. My parents laughed and said that, after seventeen years, I should have looked forward to it, but I would much rather sit in front of a roaring fire with a mug of hot chocolate listening to Christmas carols instead of this year's version of holiday cheer: roaming the barren hallways of an empty sanitarium in a quest for restless energy.

Charlotte comes from a rather infamous family who are well known as being paranormal investigators.She is just getting to a place in her life where she feels she can actually be a normal teenager. She has started a new school and made new friends who don't seem to be obsessed with her family's chosen career.   She has even got a hot date with Harris, the school football star.

Yet things don't seem to want to run smoothly for Charlotte and after Harris takes her to a party where a spooky game called One Hundred Candles is played, things start to wrong. Rather creepy and sinister events begin to occur at school, frightening everyone. Can Charlotte get to the bottom of it, without putting herself in danger.

Although this book is the second in the series, I never felt for one minute that I needed to read the first book beforehand, a huge plus in any book for me.

I love a book that can send shivers up my spine and have me constantly checking that no one is lurking behind the sofa and this one did not disappoint.  All the way through, you were just waiting for the bad things to happen and scaring yourself silly.

Charlotte is a rather feisty go getting girl who for some reason reminded me of  a cross between Nancy Drew and Velma from Scooby Doo. I think it might be her super sleuthing ways to discover the truth.  She is feisty and fearless and goes through hell with a lot of dignity.  She has no special powers to deal with the ghosts, she is just an ordinary girl with a family with an unordinary career.

The other characters didn't really stand out to me. I felt they were a little two dimensional and I would have liked to have got to know them a lot better. Avery and Noah really captured my interest but they just didn't stand out as much as Charlotte did. This may be more defined in the first book but as I haven't read it, I can't really say.

I found the action moved swiftly through the book and the build up of tension kept me reading. It is definitely one of those books you quickly get lost in and feel an urgency to find out what is going on. I thought the pacing was excellent and I found myself finishing this book in two sittings.

If you like ghost stories with a hint of mystery then this book will really appeal to your inner Nancy Drew!

There is a free ebook available here, which is a bridging novella between the first two books. If you would like to read the series from the start the first book is called Past Midnight.


  1. It sounds so good. I dont know whether to thank you or not for adding another book to my wishlist :D

  2. Okay, I'm really wondering about that game now! I want to read the book just to learn more about it.

  3. sounds good! I like the paranormal aspect of it.

  4. Ooh sounds so good! Like bermudaonion, I really want to find out about that game now!

  5. For some reason I do not go for ghost books, dunno why really, I mean I go for all the rest

  6. I can tell you enjoyed this one, Vivienne. Terrific review!

  7. Fab review - this one sounds right up my street "ghost stories with a hint of mystery" - perfect :D

  8. Asamum - I am such a bad influence!

    Bermudaonion - it is rather a scary game and not one I would want to play!

    Naida - you will enjoy it. You love scary!

    Carmen - it is rather scary!

    Blodeuedd - I love ghost stories.

    Suko - thank you.


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