Book Reviews

Book Review: The Ghosts of Kali Oka Road (Gulf Coast Paranormal #1) by M. L. Bullock

Book Blurb:

On the Gulf Coast, Things Don’t Just Go Bump in the Night They Terrorize You and Sometimes You Disappear! The paranormal investigators at Gulf Coast Paranormal thought they knew what they were doing. Midas, Sierra, Sara, Josh and Peter had over twenty combined years of experience investigating supernatural activity on the Gulf Coast. But when they meet Cassidy, a young artist with a strange gift, they realize there’s more to learn. And time is running out for Cassidy.

When Gulf Coast Paranormal begins investigating the ghosts of Kali Oka Road, they find an entity far scarier than a few ghosts. Add in the deserted Oak Grove Plantation, and you have a recipe for a night of terror.

Ready to go ghost hunting? You’ll enjoy this supernatural suspense novel, the first in the Gulf Coast Paranormal series.

Published March 15th 2017

My Review:

I like ghost stories (obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t have written a series about them) so I was thrilled to bits when I found this one on Amazon. I downloaded it immediately, and because I was at work, I slipped into the bathroom to read the first chapter.

Don’t judge me.

Anyway! The beginning set up a marvelously spooky scene: abandoned stretch of road, a couple of teenagers making out, a fight, and then unearthly screeching mixed in with pulse-pounding tension that built and built until I shrieked when someone else came into the bathroom.

I loved the first chapter, then I loved the first half of the book. Some of the writing had repetitive sentence structure, which I personally found distracting, but that might be because as an author, I’m looking at that kind of stuff. Bullock did a fantastic job of building the tension–which is exactly what you need in a good ghost story.

But then…it didn’t go anywhere. The tension continued to build right up to the end, all these threads–Ranger, the owl, Cassidy’s visions, the ghosts in the woods–didn’t connect. Worse still, they got quick mentions in the Epilogue. Only one thread of the story, I felt, had even a remotely conclusive ending with the closure I wanted, but even that felt lackluster considering the buildup I’d spent hours reading through. Ranger’s story (which I thought was the most compelling narrative thread) was wrapped up as if Bullock had reached the end with the other threads and forgotten to conclude Ranger’s and Melissa’s. We’re given an unsatisfactory ending–one that I felt didn’t make sense and seemed slapped together to give it some kind of conclusion–which left me disappointed. Similarly, the owl received an honorable mention in the Epilogue as well, and Cassidy’s visions left off with a cliffhanger, with the impression that they’d continue in subsequent books.

I liked the characters, and Bullocks did a wonderful job building up the tension, but the ending just left me unsatisfied. I’d rate it 3 out of 5 stars.

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