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Review: “Beyond the Grave (Past Midnight #3)” by Mara Purnhagen

Beyond the Grave (Past Midnight, #3)

Beyond the Grave by Mara Purnhagen

Paperback, 256 pages

Expected publication: August 30th 2011 by Harlequin Teen

Pre-Order: Amazon Barnes & Noble

Review Copy from NetGalley

Description from Goodreads:

A haunting new tale in the Past Midnight series…

I can’t move forward with my life until I know my demons are confined to the past…

Being Charlotte Silver, the daughter of famous paranormal investigators, means my life isn’t like that of other teenage girls. Especially after what happened to my parents. Things changed. I missed prom and deferred my big college plans. But I still have my boyfriend, Noah. He’s everything I could want—if I can figure out what’s up with him. Suddenly Noah is secretive.

I fear it has something to do with what happened to us three months ago. The bruise Noah suffered during a paranormal attack has never completely faded. Now I’ve learned Noah is researching demons. And when he disappears, it’s up to me to find him—before something else does.

My Review:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s always sad when a series ends and you have to say goodbye to characters you’ve come to enjoy reading about. I just recently started the “Past Midnight” series after receiving “Beyond the Grave” on NetGalley. It didn’t take long for me to become addicted. It’s easy to become invested in Charlotte and her family.

“Beyond the Grave” was an excellent ending to the “Past Midnight” series. As sad as I am to know there won’t be anymore adventures, I feel as though Purnhagen wrapped the story perfectly. There was a light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. While I don’t feel as though “Raising the Dead” offered much plot wise to connect the first two books, “Haunting the Night” definitely bridges the story between “One Hundred Candles” and “Beyond the Grave”. The thing with the “Past Midnight” books is that most of the action happens at the end. Normally this would drive me crazy, but Purnhagen does a great job at pacing.

In “Beyond the Grave”, the story picks off shortly after “Haunting the Night” (the novella released August 1st for free by Harlequin Teen). Spoiler: Charlotte’s mother is still in a coma and the doctor’s don’t want to give her family false hope. After all, it isn’t likely that she’ll ever return to the person they knew and loved. But life goes on, which is something the Silver family is struggling with. While Charlotte’s father and sister visit her mother often, Charlotte finds it hard to see her mother like that – motionless and almost like a corpse.

Charlotte is also struggling to deal with college and her relationship with Noah, which seems strained now-a-days. It may seem as though Charlotte has lost some of her spark, the strength that made her so likeable in the other books, but with the help of Bliss (seriously, is it possible to love a character you once hated?) and Michael, she regains the strength she needs to fight back. While she may have taken care of the Watcher before, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s gone for good.

I really love how everything was wrapped up in “Beyond the Grave”. There are parts in which you’ll cry, parts in which you’ll laugh. I’m not sure I can properly express just how much I loved “Beyond the Grave” (and the rest of the “Past Midnight” books for that matter).

If you’re looking for a spooky, fun, series full of love, look no further than the “Past Midnight” series. You won’t be disappointed.

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My Reviews for the other books in the “Past Midnight” series:

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Review: “Haunting the Night” by Mara Purnhagen

Haunting the NightHaunting the Night by Mara Purnhagen

ebook, 80 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Harlequin
Download: Amazon($2.99)-B&N (Free)
You can download the PDF for free from Harlequin Teen’s facebook page! Information can be found here!
Description from Goodreads:
Charlotte Silver has been through hell.Her mom’ s in a coma. She may have caused the death of a young man. And now her friend Avery wants her to tackle going to Prom? Not going to happen, even if she is dying to spend some alone time with her boyfriend, Noah. Instead, Charlotte needs to find some answers to a few nagging questions—why was her family attacked? Will her mother survive? And is there a creature from the Other Side coming for her? Soon enough, Charlotte’s search for the truth becomes a race against time. But she may just find the sign she’s been looking for all along….An ebook exclusive Past Midnight series novella.
My Review:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When “Haunting the Night” was announced, and offered as a free e-book, I was excited. I’ve honestly fallen in love with the “Past Midnight” series and Mara Purnhagen’s writing. I’m going to be a bit sad going into “Beyond the Grave” knowing that it’s the final “Past Midnight” book.

“Haunting the Night” takes places a few weeks after the events from “One Hundred Candles”. After Marcus’ death and her mother falling into a coma, Charlotte is struggling with her guilt. She believes its all her fault, that she could’ve done something to prevent it all. She’s trying to go on with her life, but it’s impossible to go on until she’s ready to let go of her guilt.

While “Haunting the Night” doesn’t give readers answers to what’s next, it does give them plenty of questions…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With Noah’s bruise, the shadow creature, Charlotte’s mother still being in a coma, and Zelden’s quest to avoid her…you get a feel of what to expect in “Beyond the Grave” (which I’ll be reading this weekend).

If you’re a fan of the series, the novellas are a must.

I love where the story is headed, but I’m going to be sad to see it end.

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Review: “One Hundred Candles” by Mara Purnhagen

One Hundred Candles (Past Midnight #2)One Hundred Candles by Mara Purnhagen

Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by Harlequin
Purchase: Amazon -- Barnes & Noble
Review Copy: Purchased
Description from Goodreads:
It’s taken a long time for me to feel like a normal teenager. But now that I’m settled in a new school, where people know me as more than Charlotte Silver of the infamous Silver family paranormal investigators, it feels like everything is falling into place. And what better way to be normal than to go on a date with a popular football star like Harris Abbott? After all, it’s not as if Noah is anything more than a friend….But my new life takes a disturbing turn when Harris brings me to a party and we play a game called One Hundred Candles. It seems like harmless, ghostly fun. Until spirits unleashed by the game start showing up at school. Now my friends and family are in very real danger, and the door that I’ve opened into another realm may yield deadly consequences.My Review:

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve developed a slight obsession with the “Past Midnight” series. The characters are likeable, the story lines are interesting, and the pacing is wonderful. Plus, the fact that they are slightly over two hundred pages, as opposed to the [what seems to be normal] four hundred page young-adult novels, doesn’t hurt. These books are easy to read and incredibly enjoyable.

“One Hundred Candles” did a good job of summarizing the events that took place in “Past Midnight”. From the first line until the very last, I couldn’t tear my interest away. Charlotte’s family is finally settling down. She’s getting the chance at a normal life; she even has hope of attending prom for the first time. And them – BAM, it hits you fast. The scene with Charlotte and Marcus. Thing’s settle for a while, until New Year’s when Charlotte spends time with Harris. The entire one hundred candles ritual was interesting. The reader can sense something is coming, but Purnhagen is great with her pacing and she manages to set it up perfectly so that it hits you hard when all hell does break lose.

Right before he finds them, Charlotte’s life seems to be finding a balance: her parents are getting along better (after their family vacation), her relationship with Noah has grown, and she thinks that the worst is over. Then her father delivers the news that they have to run, and everything comes crashing down around her just as it was beginning to fall into place. From that moment, until the final page, you hope for the best, but Purnhagen doesn’t gloss over anything. He’s coming to punish Charlotte. This isn’t going to be a happy ending. Not yet. There’s a lot of pain headed her way. There’s going to be a lot of healing that needs to take place before she can get her life back in order. And she’s not safe yet. There’s still a chance that the energy will manifest itself again. She may have won this time, but safety isn’t promised.

I can’t wait to start “Haunting the Night” and “Beyond the Grave”! This series is honestly addicting.

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FREE Novella! “Haunting the Night” by Mara Purnhagen

Are you a fan of the Past Midnight series? If so, you need to check out “Haunting the Night”. You can currently get a free PDF of the novella by liking Harlequin Teen on Facebook (here) or by heading over to Barnes & Noble. As of right now, Amazon is still showing it for $2.99, but it should be listed as free soon enough.

This novella takes place after ONE HUNDRED CANDLES (which I’m currently reading). It should help fill in the story between ONE HUNDRED CANDLES and BEYOND THE GRAVE (which releases later this month)!

Review: “Raising the Dead” (Past Midnight #1.5) by Mara Purnhagen

Raising the Dead (Past Midnight, #1.5)Raising the Dead by Mara Purnhagen

ebook, 84 pages
Published January 1st 2011 by Harlequin Teen
Purchased from Amazon.com ($2.51)!
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Charlotte Silver’s world is like no one else’s…

As the daughter of the famous Silver Spirits paranormal investigators, Charlotte Silver is used to all things weird. But when coffins start floating down her street during a flood, life turns extra strange. And wonderful, when her friend and crush Noah signs on to help Charlotte and her folks in the aftermath. Cemetery cleanup might not sound exciting, but as shocking discoveries and a lurking stranger come to light, Charlotte learns that sometimes, raising the dead can bring unexpected rewards.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading “Past Midnight”, I was dying to read this novella.

Given that “Raising the Dead” is only a novella, I feel as though it was rather good. It served its purpose in making me want to read the next book, “One Hundred Candles”.

Coming off of “Past Midnight”, this novella begins with Charlotte at a book signing with her father. It’s now several weeks from where the first book left off and Charlotte is still debating on whether what happened in Charleston was real or not.

For the most part, things have returned to normal, but that changes when a major rain storm causes flooding and sends coffins floating through the streets. Charlotte and her family work to bring the caskets back to their burial location, where they met William.

As to avoid spoilers, I’ll just state that while the novella isn’t as interesting as the first book, it is an intriguing novella. Charlotte is starting to wonder if Noah feels the same way about her as she does him. Now, romance didn’t play a huge part in the first book. Charlotte had a crush on Noah, but it wasn’t the core. As the series goes on, however, it looks as though Charlotte is going to be struggling with her feelings towards Noah. I’m curious as to where it’ll go.

All in all, if you’re looking to read the “Past Midnight” series – don’t skip this novella!

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