A medium gets ready for one of the biggest days in her career speaking to the dead. An elf accepts an unusual assignment and faces his past. Two stories about people tied to holiday-themed professions. Two stories about the reality of life’s hardships in the last quarter of the year. Two stories for the holidays.
The first story, “Take A Breath”: Marisa Bellini has traveled to a tiny town on Halloween to help people contact the dead. She’s built an empire on the idea that she can talk to ghosts…but can she really? Sometimes even Marisa isn’t sure.
The second story, “The Truth About Elves”: Curtis, an elf, sets the record straight. No, elves don’t have pointy ears, they aren’t three feet tall, and they don’t live at the North Pole all year long. When Curtis gets a special assignment from the big man himself, though, he learns that Christmas magic has the power to transform everything he’s known for the last decade.
Guess what guys! Ekta has released the her 5th novel in the Stories In Pairs series!
So if you guys didn’t know, Ekta has this series going on where she releases 3 books a year with 2 short stories in each one. So this is her holiday edition of the series and I have to say that I think this one is the best one yet.
In this first story, we follow a famous psychic as she goes around and basically talks to the the dead for grieving family members. We get to see how she decided to become a psychic as well as what goes on behind the scenes of her famous shows and readings.
Now I rarely read books about psychics because I don’t believe in them and their ‘abilities’. I mean everything I’ve ever heard of them has been that they are cheats and fakes. I also am a Christian and we don’t believe in this stuff. But that said, I do find people who believe in them and who practice to be quite interesting. I mean I think it really takes a type of person to be able to pay hard earned money to take a chance that someone might really have contact with the dead. It also takes a type of person to scam someone into spending hard earned money on the spouting of utter rubbish but I digress.
So I really really enjoyed this story. I found the characters to be very likeable as well as unlikable which In my opinion, makes a great character. I also loved reading about how Marisa became who she was in her life. I feel like that contributed to the book in a big way.
I don’t know. There was just something about this story that I found really enjoyable. I guess it’s because it largely fit with my belief that psychics are absolute rubbish but again, I digress.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
In this story, we follow an elf called Curtis. Curtis is a regular old human, all elves are in this story, and he has a proper job and a house and everything. It’s just that for a few months a year, Curtis flies to the North Pole to work for a man called Mr C.
Now I liked this story. I really did. I mean it was good. What I didn’t like though was the suspense. So you know how loads of authors do this thing where they hint at a subplot then in the next few paragraphs or next chapter or two, they reveal it?
Well this story had that element. Expect that it was dragged out for the entire story.
I felt like I was the outsider to a huge secret the whole time. And while I would usually appreciate some suspense, this time, I felt rather patronised. I guess it was largely due to the fact that it was dragged out for the entire story and the fact that the secret was hinted at at least once on every page. I just got quite annoyed really.
Other then that, I enjoyed this new spin on a classic Christmas myth. I loved how the traditional elf image was reinvented. Only thing that was missing I felt was that it was not clear how one gets recruited. I want to be an elf too!
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
I really enjoyed this book and truly feel like Ekta’s writing has been improving with every book she puts out. I have reviews for some of her other novels in her Stories In Pairs series and you can read them below:
*A copy of this book was provided to me to read and review by the author however, all opinions are my own*
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