Book & Author Details:
by Mere Joyce
(Oracle of Senders, #3)
Publication date: June 15th 2021
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Synopsis:When Callum Silver arrives in Greenland for his third summer at Camp Wanagi, the only thing he feels is dread. Last August, camp took a terrible turn. Since then, things have only gotten worse. Mim is still in a coma. Meander is practically non-existent. And Cal’s not the only camper suffering from bouts of insomnia and night terrors. Because this isn’t just another summer with the Oracle. This year, the members of the Shade sector are turning sixteen—the age when the full aspects of their abilities finally come to fruition.
Cal is terrified of seeing his first post-birthday spirit. But as the bright Greenland summer wears on, he discovers there are things more disturbing than sickness-inducing ghosts. New revelations, changing talents, and daring missions twist Cal’s understanding of the past and alter his expectations for the future. But even when he thinks he’s finally got a handle on what it means to be a Sender, the summer’s final encounters prove more deadly than anyone expects. Cal’s not sure how camp is going to end. But whatever happens, one thing is clear—this is a summer no one in the Oracle is going to forget.
Happy birthday, Shade…
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Gianna bounds over to speak with Robbie. She eyes us with annoyance but is unable to wipe the easy grin from his face as he explains why we're here. Their conversation is muted, and I pay it little heed. My attention is focused on Anna.
She bends her white-blonde head, coming to a stop in the middle of the clearing her sector mates marked out. That she's doing this—putting herself through the rigors of being near a ghost for the sole sake of ensuring a good show tonight—is ridiculous. But evidently, confirming the spirit's presence is not enough. The bottom strands of her low-slung ponytail begin to sway, the hair lifting in a heavy breeze the rest of us can't feel. I wait for her to rush to the edge of the marked square, safely out of the ghost's range. But she only lifts her chin, her mouth parting like she's ready to speak.
"Man, I've missed this," Sefa whispers.
He inches closer, his bulky frame blocking most of my view. I take a half-step to the side, curious how long Anna is going to keep this up. She trembles, her legging-clad knees swaying. Still, her lips continue to move and, although I'm glad we're not any closer than the edge of the large square, I wonder what kind of questions she's posing to the invisible mass.
Gianna and Robbie continue their quiet argument while Reed questions why Anna's hair is dancing as if he's trying to find the reason in an optical illusion. On the far side of the square, the other Revenants watch, their eyes calculating as they take note of the spirit's effect. For a hair-raising occurrence, the scene is remarkably casual.
But then Anna's hair shoots straight out, the length of her ponytail straining to one side. As the girl's mouth closes and her eyes widen with surprise, all conversation comes to a stop. The sensation is eerie with everyone standing in stunned silence as we watch Anna reach her hand back and tug at the strands that won't fall against her shoulder. A chill skitters across my skin. Even if I can't see or feel this particular spirit, I blame it for the shiver that makes me hug my arms to my chest.
"Are you okay?" Gianna calls, breaking through the still quiet. Anna raises one arm and waves, signaling she's fine. Still, the Revenant lead looks like she's ready to bolt to the girl's aid. "The reports we have," she explains, the fingernails of one hand coming to her mouth. "They suggest this ghost is…"
Her voice is cut off by a shriek, and the queasiness of our ride over here reappears as I watch Anna's hair snake around her shoulder and across her collarbone. She yells for the spirit to stop, but the ponytail continues, slithering up the far side of her shoulder before twisting around her neck. Watching her is like viewing a demented magic act as the hair creates a grotesque noose.
Anna grips her hair with both hands, and her choked gargle sends my vision veering off-kilter.
Not her neck. Anything but her neck
Mere Joyce is a Canadian author of short stories and novels. Her writing includes contemporary tales, high-action mysteries, fairy-tale fantasies, and her personal favorite--ghost stories. When she's not writing, Mere can be found recommending books as a librarian or spending time at home with her family. She's also been known to be a selective - yet highly enthusiastic - fangirl.
Author links: Website ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~
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