Beckon Me (Beckoners #1), by Cindy Thomas (2015)

College sophomores Karina and Rainey are enjoying a night on the town. They close down an art museum, which was featuring a photography exhibit. An excellent photographer herself, Karina especially was enchanted with the beautiful images.

On the walk back to the garage where they’d parked, the two stumble upon a couple obviously engaged in a very public intimate activity. What happens next reveals that the activity wasn’t consensual, and it gets Karina and Rainey both shot. Karina survives; Rainey doesn’t.

When Karina returns to college for fall term, she sees her friend everywhere, and every time, Rainey looks a little worse for the wear. Soon, Karina discovers she’s not the only one who can see Rainey–as well as other disembodied spirits–and that she might be destined to become a Beckoner, a being whose purpose it is to help souls cross-over to their ultimate destinations.

Karina’s decision isn’t entirely her own. She meets Eli, an impossibly handsome fellow student, and Gabby, who becomes Karina’s new best friend. Now, Karina has to decide whether to embrace her role as a Beckoner, or to remain human. It’s her choice. If she becomes a Beckoner, she’ll be able to help her friend move on to the next realm. She could also encounter terrifying, evil entities called Ceptors, who could damn both Rainey AND Karina to eternal misery.

Cindy Thomas’s novel “Beckon Me (Beckoner #1)” does an excellent job setting up the mythology for what should prove to be an interesting series. Karina is a perfect heroine. Beyond accepting that she’s seeing her dead best friend for real, she’s even more skeptical when she finds out about Beckoners, much less that she may be one. When Eli also sees Rainey’s ghost one day, Karina can’t deny it any longer.

Damnation or not, she has to help her friend–Karina owes her that much.

There are sparks between Karina and Eli, though Karina finds him arrogant enough not to succumb to his advances. Instead, they work together to prepare for her new role, and for all the dangers she will be facing.

I like the triangle between Eli, Gabby, and Karina. Karina is utterly clueless in the beginning why Eli and Gabby don’t seem to like each other. As the relationships gel, we can see their respective roles in Karina’s life.

“Beckon Me” is alternately funny and fascinating, especially as Karina tries to balance her need for Eli’s training, with her lust to hone more than her Beckoner skills.

As prepared as Karina becomes, she’s just not ready when she faces her first challenge, and the stakes are even higher than she imagined.

Cindy Thomas has written a compelling novel. It’s one of those where I kept saying, “All right, just one more chapter.” Then, ten chapters later, I’m still reading. That’s the sign of an entertaining book, and that’s what Ms. Thomas has created here.

Highly Recommended

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About tom

B.A. in Literature, Minor in Film Theory and Criticism, thus meaning all I’m trained is to write blog posts here. Neptune is my favorite planet–it vents methane into the solar system like my brother does. I think Chicken McNuggets look like Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Indiana. There are times when I’m medicated, which is why I wrote about McNuggets. Buy some today and tell me I’m wrong! Anyway, Beyond that: mammal, Floridian, biped.Good Night, and Good Luck. Besos, tom
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