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This is definitely overdue, but better late than never!
I picked up Rain of the Ghosts the day it came out with the simple struggle in figuring out just how fast I wanted to turn the page to know what happened next when I quickly realized that I would eventually have to wait a fair heap of time for the next installment, thanks to the knowledge previously revealed on AskGreg that Rain was intended to be a series. In short, I wanted to cherish the ride that I had been waiting to get on. But now that the ride has finally started, I can finally say I don't ever want to get off!
Without getting into the details that makes most of these reviews sound all too similar (and to minimize any spoilers), let me just take the time to point out some of the strongest (and/or favorite) aspects of the story that stood out to me. As someone who has enjoyed a lifetime of reading books (and well aware I've not read enough) and watching more than a few shows with Greg Weisman at the helm, this book almost felt like the long awaited cosmic alignment that I've only just realized I should have been anticipating, lol.
Moments I liked (***POTENTIAL SPOILERS!!!***):
-- This was brought up at CONvergence for Gargoyles and Young Justice (ConJournals on the way I promise!), but I LOVE that Rain of the Ghosts is also dedicated to the realism so as to make the fantastic pop . . . from the Spanish to the slow track of time, it really does flesh it out. Such attention to detail - detail that's far more engaging than encyclopedic - makes the first novel feel like a diary for the entire Ghost Keys (at the least, the personal diary of the native omniscient narrator).
-- 'Bastian's nickname for Rain, and happy we'll be hearing it for at least a little longer :)
-- I enjoyed the magicked-scenes where Rain and Charlie (and whoever else) sees and hears different things. Especially since we actually get a lot of detail on what the folks who don't see *are* in fact seeing. If it played on television, I'd imagine it'd feel very familiar to the Weird Sisters in "City of Stone."
-- I was actually lulled into a false sense of security when Rain had snuck out of Callahan's window . . . not so much that I didn't think Callahan was clever enough to put two and two together (I do think I give him a touch more credit than Rain currently does), but I guess I didn't anticipate them having a row with each other so soon.
-- Appreciate the subtle and conscious effort to demonstrate how Rain's parents handled raising a kid with guests. Even when things got heated, there was a delicate approach to show how Alonso and Iris needed to check Rain's antics, taking her skeleton key but giving her a break. Tough - but fair.
-- I enjoyed the notable paces set by the various uses of commas, ands, and ellipses (among other tools in the syntax) in the exposition . . . whenever I noticed a pattern, or even a notable pause, it got me visualizing not only the scene but also the theoretical direction and use of the camera (transitions and cuts and everything), which, now that I'm thinking about it, would be (more often than not) from the point of view from Opie, right?
-- On that note, I remembered reading a line when a character paused for nine seconds (it even emphasizes that it was exactly nine seconds). Lines like those had me going back and trying to read the sentence in the allotted time. With the nine seconds line, I do remember its length and beat actually made it quite feasible. :)
-- Oddly enough, all the mouth wordplay . . . Alonso pushing his tongue against his cheeks, Charlie biting his cheeks, Old Joe licking his lips, Rain sticking her tongue out at Charlie . . . the visuals just seem like signatures for each character, lol.
-- And of course, finally meeting our native omniscient narrator, Opie, lol.
Overall, it's a great story with a ton of heart (Rain's experience with a death in the family is so relatable that you absolutely feel for her the minute she realizes she's pushed away the ghost she most desperately wants to see), with probably a ton more other stories to tease out. Needless to say I'm looking forward to each and every one of them!
**POTENTIAL SPOILERS END***
Thanks! All the things you mentioned were quite intentional, so I'm glad they registered - as long as they didn't interfere with experiencing the story.
Hope by now you've also read SPIRITS OF ASH AND FOAM and are looking forward to the AudioPlay version of RAIN.
And I'm told positive reviews on Amazon help a lot!