Writing a novel can be an extremely difficult task to complete. It will come with numerous highs and lows as the author constantly struggles to make everything fit into an engaging, meaningful and cohesive work. You can multiply those challenges by ten when it comes to producing a great series. Not only does the author need to balance all the aforementioned points, but they also need to keep the story fresh with new ideas and escapades. Something which will reel the reader in while also providing a steady continuity to what has transpired beforehand. No easy task! In his novel, Ghost Hunter: VI Occultus, author Martin J. Best does exactly this. A perfect read for fans of the paranormal and occult horror, which is ingeniously juxtaposed with an environment of love and friendship.
Essentially, the novel has multiple plot lines which it follows. The first introduces us to a mother who has left an abusive religious cult in order to give her children the chance at a better life. However, things do not go as planned and the result of this is that we are introduced to Mal Hunter and his Ghost Hunter team. While the group must deal with their new case, they soon become distracted by a gruesome ritual murder which claims one of their own. With multiple cases on the front burner, the swamped team receives even more devastating news as they learn about the serious illness of one of their members. Has the team finally been given more than even they can handle? Or is it time to come together as one, and employ some shocking secret weapons in the process. A battle the likes of which we have never seen is set to begin… and the very future of the ghost hunters is at stake!
I have been a big fan of the Ghost Hunter series since its outset. This novel is no exception! The motif of good versus evil is prevalent throughout the work and is backed up by flowing writing and captivating story action. Make no mistake, the story is both complex and engaging as it weaves together many different elements. We are introduced to chilling hauntings, occult horror, and even a tryst with Celtic Gods! All of these ideas are tied together in a way which allows the story to flow naturally. The reader becomes mesmerized and spellbound by the intriguing story events. One aspect in particular which I like is the love and familial feel the ghost hunters display towards one another. This allows us to invest more in the characters as we actively root for them to overcome the many horrors and relentless obstacles which are thrown in their way. A truly captivating story.
Without a doubt, the characters in the Ghost Hunter series are pivotal to its success. They are realistic, believable, and described in a way which endears them to the reader. They wade through the many horrific events in an air of constant kindness and caring towards one another. The feeling of empathy is palatable. While most of the different players have been introduced in previous titles, the addition of Hannah is a brilliant play. She is the classic underdog who fits in beautifully with the rest of the team. Be that as it may, there are also characters such as Seth and Grace who are the exact opposite of the loveable ghost hunters. However, the author still manages to describe and portray them in a way which provokes a tinge of sympathy from the reader. Amidst the horror- there is humanity.
It should be noted that this novel can be enjoyed as a stand-alone book. The author frequently brings up events which occurred in the previous titles in the series in order to keep the reader up to date. Nonetheless, this particular reader recommends reading all the titles in the Ghost Hunter series as each exciting story builds upon the next.
5 out of 5 Ghost Hunting Stars for this one!