“Shifting Borders” by Jessie Kwak

Don’t let the cover fool you. This is about the most normal paranormal story I have read. It takes place in a prosaic world where raising ghosts is a business matter, ordered by a judge for legal reasons. But then of course there’s the people who can’t, won’t or shouldn’t get the permits.

Patricia – responsible mother of three – is drawn into this semi-legal demimonde by her sister, Valeria. There’s one of these in many families. The sibling who never grew up, who acts like a teenager in a sulk most of the time. Showing up only when she needs you, disappearing without explanation when she doesn’t.

So this is not a story of ghosties and ghoulies and the stealing of souls. It’s the story of family loyalty and love and the impossible task of showing love without enabling self-destructive behaviour. It’s a book about trying to maintain a normal home for your family while the world around you – and the spirit world as well – are falling apart.

The best of paranormal novels maintain a balance between the unreal battles of the spirit world and the realistic interactions of human characters. The tendency is to lean on the weirdy stuff for the conflict, and only use the human side to develop empathy. This novel shifts the balance towards the human dimension and is a richer story because of it. Tense otherworldly battles aside (and there are several good ones)  tension flickers between the human characters as well. Even supporting characters are humanly facetted, not just good or evil as the plot requires.

A great plotline with tense action, empathetic characters and gritty, realistic settings.

Highly recommended for fans of the paranormal and anyone looking for an absorbing read.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)



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