Title: Black Lilies (Chasing Echoes #2)
Author: Jodi Perkins
Genre: Fiction/ YA/ Romance/ Magic/ Fantasy
Source: Second Part of the Chasing Echoes Series
Favourite Quote: “Kade and I saw each other the night he was hung. We saw each other from two different periods in history. I thought he was some weird shadow, and he thought I was an angel. That has to mean something right? Maybe I’m supposed to save him. Like the guardian angel he thought I was.”
Aviva can’t help but stare at the shadow that appears at the wake from the diner shoot out. A shadow only she can see. A shadow that quickly forms into the shape of a teenage ghost who appears in her class on her 16th birthday. As the daughter of Spring, her powers are beginning to awaken into something more now that she is of age, the fact that she is now seeing a ghost wasn’t supposed to be part of the package.
The ghost is a boy named Kade who believes he is in a dream. A very vivid dream. He has no memory of his past, no sense of time going by and can’t make sense of the world around him. The only thing he knows for sure, is that he is alone and the only person who can see him is Aviva. They soon realise that the longer he’s around her, the more apparent he becomes as he is drawn to the life Spring provides, and the more they come to enjoy each others company. It also means the more pronounced he becomes, the clearer his memories are. It’s evident he is from the 1800’s by his dress sense, recollection of events and objects in the past as well as his propriety and etiquette around the opposite sex. What is more disturbing is when they discover his timeline matches up to a murderer who was sentence to death in the same place he first appeared in front of Aviva.
‘”Dad, since we’re on the subject of powers, I was wondering… the fact that we’re all seasons and all that… can we see ghosts?”
“Seriously, sweet girl, can you get off this whole phantom theory? I am not a ghost,” my not-a-ghost said.
“Then what are you?” I lashed at him. He clamped his lips in a straight line.
My dad eyed me as if trying to gage if I was actually being serious.
“You’re seeing ghosts?” He asked slowly.
“And talking to them, too,” Stryder remarked, biting off the tip of a breadstick. “Never a dull moment with the Aevos family.”
“Here-here,” my ghost agreed. “Granted, this is my first supper with them, but I am thoroughly enjoying myself.”‘
I have to admit, it took me a while to pick this one up. After reading the first Chasing Echoes book, I was so emotionally invested in Taz and Stryder, I wasn’t ready to move on to her sister Aviva and leave their story behind. I honestly didn’t think Jodi Perkins could tie me in as much as that again. I was very well mistaken. This author is incredible and I can’t get enough of her writing. Already I’m so frustrated to discover there is a third book in this series. Not only that, but a cliffhanger from this one. Aviva’s story is not over and I’m screaming for more! Sadly the next book won’t be available until the end of 2021. I hate this part. The waiting. I’m too impatient.
I just can’t fault this book. I’m struggling to write a review just like the first one because I just can’t seem to put my feelings into words. I loved the characters, I loved the plot, I loved the pace, I loved the scenery, I loved the writing style, I loved the mystery. I should just finish my review based on that.
Aviva was a great protagonist, she’s young and still learning about her magical abilities, she can’t help herself and her instant need to bring life back into plants and small animals. She’s still human, and a teenager at that, so seeing a shadowy form of a hanging man didn’t come easy for her, even if the ghost soon projected into a handsome boy at her school, she was still on edge at first. Her character was completely relatable, the constant attention from her ghost that only she could see brought her out of her shell and made her into a stronger person when she was sure of his innocence. Her determination to go back to the past to rescue him was sweetly reckless. Even though she was all alone, she refused to leave and worked hard in her role of a servant in order to make sure she could play her part to prove he wasn’t guilty of murder. I absolutely fell in love with Aviva and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.
Kade was a lovely addition to the story and I liked the character build up and the way he changed from being a relaxed carefree teenage ghost with no memories in the present, to being a middle class gentleman with expectations in 1886. The way the author was slowly able to bring the two parts of his character together to show you how much pressure he puts on himself to look after his family and his responsibilities to others can hide away his true self and what he really wants. He only begins to allow himself a chance at happiness when Aviva shows up in his life in the past, determined to save him from his future.
‘”Wait.” Kade stepped in closer to her. “The other day, when you told me I would be hung for the murder of Molly, you thought I was framed?”
“Yes. I mean, I don’t know if you were purposely framed, or if someone just conveniently let you take the blame for their crime. But I know you didn’t do it.”
“How do you know?”
“I just know. Okay?”
Kade’s stomach dropped. Quiet stretched between them. She had assumed his innocence this whole time. If he hadn’t been so busy behaving like a cad, perhaps he might have noticed. And then he realised he believed her. The truth scared the devil out of him but he could no longer deny the truth of her words. Perhaps he had believed her all along, and that was why he behaved like such a coward.’
The author did a fantastic job at setting the scene, both in the modern day present and the past when our characters get thrown into 1886. The fact that you could easily go back and forth without losing pace of the story was brilliant and well written. You could tell the author did her research on the typical every day momentum of the 1800s with it’s clothing, cleaning, serving, the class system, transportation and even the advances in technology when it came to producing the first handheld camera using light exposure. Even without the magic of the seasons it felt magical.
Even though he wasn’t the main protagonist in this book, I still had a soft spot for Stryder and the way he just accepted all parts of the Aevos family no matter what, whether it was discovering Aviva talking to a ghost next to him, listening to the family magical mishaps with their powers, or accepting that Taz and her sisters were trapped in the past before instantly helping the family to save them whatever it takes. I’m glad for his continued appearance, even with majority of the story based in 1886.
‘”Uh, sir, would you like to take your seat so you can enjoy your meal?”
Stryder looked at me, his eyebrows raised in question. I gave him a small shake of my head. “He’s in your chair,” I mouthed.
“Nope, I’m good,” Stryder told the server. “I, uh, prefer to eat my meals standing. Apparently.”
The server gave Stryder a strange look before sauntering off with the tray. Once the server was out of earshot, Stryder swore under his breath and moved to the foot of the table, sitting down in the empty seat. “Can’t believe my chair just got jacked by a ghost…”‘
If you couldn’t tell from my review, I absolutely loved this book and I would definitely recommend it to all who like a YA fantasy mixed with magic, time travel, mystery and historical romance. It’s everything I want in a book and more and I can’t wait for the last Chasing Echoes book to be released!
Aviva Aevos is stalked by a shadow only she can see–the ghost of a young man from the 1800s, Kade Oaks. Frustrated by the havoc his presence is wreaking on her life, Aviva seeks to unravel the mystery of why Kade haunts her. As she digs deeper into his past, she discovers a connection between Kade and the notorious Angel Killer. But the closer Aviva comes to unveiling the truth, the more unstable Kade becomes…until one day, he’s gone.
Determined to find the lost ghost, Aviva turns to her uncle for help. But will the chaos that follows allow her to rescue Kade, or trap her and her sisters forever in the past?