Well E.J Stevens has done it again Written a book which instantly hooks the reader and reels them in Again, Yuki is a really intriguing character, Cal is swoon worthy, and the tempo of the book is very fast paced, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat the entire time What is even better about this book than its predecessor is that the secondary characters, Emma and Simon, make such a profound impact upon us Their bantering back and forth was so entertaining and truly the cherry on top of this book and dare I say it, though I know that there is a bit of an age difference between them, I wouldn t mind seeing them together together in the next book of the series One thing about this book that I did find to be a bit of a booger was Cal s condition, the boy is forever being beat up in some way, shape, or form He really deserves a break oh, and to be concious the entire book so that we can experience even of his swoon worthiness But then again, I guess that we have to consideration the fact that Cal is really stepping up as a Alpha and in doing so, one is bound to face some challenges and opposition All in all, this is a great addition to E.J Steven s Spirit Guide series It is evident that E.J is really developing as an author with each installment of this series I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us in the next book in the series slated to be released this fall , Legend of Witchtrot Road. Book Info Genre Urban FantasyReading Level Young AdultRecommended for Fans of YA fiction, esp paranormal and urban fantasy, those interested in ghosts and spirits.My Thoughts In this second book in the Spirit Guide series, after She Smells the Dead, Yuki works to prepare herself for the spirit storm that will accompany Samhain To complicate matters, someone appears to be hunting werewolves.One of the things I like about this series is it is fairly realistic within certain definitions of reality about how life progresses I would not be in the least bit surprised to find some people complaining that it is boring or too slow, but I actually liked the pacing The ending was a bit of an anticlimax, but again, I found it to be realistic and a beautiful affirmation about spirit, too.I enjoyed this story, and am looking forward to book three, The Legend of Witchtrot Road Watch for my review Disclosure I received this book as part of an omnibus, including the first three books in the Spirit Guide series, from the author in exchange for an honest review.Synopsis Let the spirits guide you, but never let them take you. Spirits of the Dead are comingYuki is about to face an army of lost souls on Samhain, the night of Halloween, when the spirits of the dead roam free Yuki will need all the help she can get from her friends, but will Calvin be there for her when she needs him the most Spirits Of The Dead Are Coming Yuki Is About To Face An Army Of Lost Souls On Samhain, The Night Of Halloween, When The Spirits Of The Dead Roam Free Yuki Will Need All The Help She Can Get From Her Friends, But Will Calvin Be There For Her When She Needs Him The Most 4 Out of 5 StarsYuki is special she can smell the dead She is also running out of time Samhain is fast approaching as is the storm of spirits it will bring with it Yuki needs to find a way to get through the night Preferably with her sanity To make everything worse, a murderer is out there a murderer who seems to be targeting werewolves And then, just when Yuki is starting to think that her life cannot get any better, a disaster strikes And still, time is running out On the bright side, she s found something to deal with her ghosty problems The downside It involves stealing From witches Wonderful, just wonderful Oh, how I missed Yuki Which proves how addictive this series is, seeing as I read Spirit Storm straight after I finished She Smells the Dead, but there you go And what a wonderful sequel It was just as quirky, cute, fun and such a pageturner I found myself sitting in bed, my kindle on my lap, reading way into the wee hours I love this series Vanessa Stennings, commonly known as Yuki, was just as wonderful as she was in the first book She had the craziest ideas wearing a shirt full of safety pins to keep the spirits away Who else , as well as being insanely excitable and energetic Her dress sense amazingly wacky, featuring gourd spiders and shoulder bag pumpkin ghosts And they were called Legs and Boo Don t you just love her already She s so cute, hilarious, and her wonderful madness was just contagious Calvin Miller was amazing And also an alpha wolf Basically, he says jump , the other wolves say how high He, too, was wonderfully mad And adorable He was so brave and strong just what Yuki needed And, I can tell you now, that Cal and Yuki were the cutest Ever They re soulmates, but it actually works Cal s soul is special he has a spirit wolf And Yuki s just plain special hence, she smells the dead So, really, it s spirit mates Either way, they re adorable So, so, so, so, so cute It also felt wonderfully real, all the way through the book It was the light in the spirity dark.Emma was officially the best friend ever She was totally sweet and the normal thing grounding Yuki Plus she was completely addicted to research how completely weird And she Training to be a vet, Emma named her cats Van Gogh and Chairman Meow Plus, I love her diabolical plans Simon was kind of a jerk He was also sarcastic and very funny And a wolf An old one Seriously, he was born with the wolf spirit Which meant he was kind of, in Yuki s own words, off He was, uh, ancient Y know Thirty Man In the first five pages a murder That is just how I like my thrillers And a deranged, symbolic, werewolf hating murder Does it get any better Yes When you throw in ghosts, eminent danger and a brilliantly wacky heroine I adore E.J s writing and plot, even if some parts felt a little skipped over, a little anti climatic But the ending Wow Let s just say, if I didn t already have the third book, there d be a pretty impressive chance that I d lose my sanity Plus, on a completely unrelated topic, isn t this cover just the most beautiful thing ever Rating 4.5 out of 5It looks like my newfound love of paranormal romance will continue, and I can pretty much blame it on one of my new favorite authors, E.J Stevens.A couple months ago, when I read She Smells the Dead, the first book in her series, I wrote that the innocent and almost ideal aspects of the relationships between the characters appealed to me the most It reminded me of my own youth actually, reminded me how lacking in sincerity my own youth was and left me grinning by the end.Well, with Spirit Storm, Stevens has raised the bar in that category and just about everywhere else.We start out where SStD leaves off Yuki, our heroine who receives smell impressions from the dead, is busy preparing herself, in both mind and body, for Samhain aka Halloween , when spirits enter the world in overwhelming numbers and could potentially drive her crazy, or worse She is assisted by her werewolf boyfriend Cal, Simon, Cal s werewolf mentor, and Emma, Yuki s best friend vegan animal rights activist all around spitfire It would be all well and good if all this group had to do was prepare for the horrors of that night But no, fate intercedes with a tragedy a member of Cal s pack has been murdered by a werewolf hater and the ghost of the dead man now haunts Yuki, urging her to help put his soul to rest And then another werewolf is kidnapped, potentially by the same person The small group of four is put on the case, future obstacles be damned Can t a girl get a break It s not like she doesn t have enough to deal with.Add to this to the stresses between Emma and Simon they really don t get along, though the text makes you wonder if there might be a hidden attraction that slips between the cracks during their fights along with the pressure Cal is under now that it s been revealed to his hidden society that he is the alpha male, and therefore leader of the pack by birthright, and we have a recipe for potentially overwhelming these poor, loveable young people.Luckily, they re up for the challenge.The plot of this book is really quite simple and straightforward As with SStD, the dialogue is impeccable and the story flows as smooth as any you ve ever read There are no dull moments, and even the dream sequences, which in the first book seemed to come from left field a couple times which is appropriate, actually, seeing as that book served as an introduction, and those dreams ways to extrapolate on the functionality of the mythology presented , serve to heighten the tension this time around The characters are idealized versions of teenagers yet completely believable, especially if you allow the language to take you on the magical ride it has to offer Also, the author has curtailed her penchant for inserting Yuki s thoughts into the story Instead of being redundant this time around, they re funny and poignant, which is a great improvement.Perhaps what Spirit Storm does best, however, is something mundane, easily overlooked, especially when dealing with teenage romance Stevens drives home the point that Yuki and Cal are soulmates throughout the story, and yet there are subtler tones there as well that bode well for future conflict The author, while at times idealizing their behavior, doesn t allow that to make them caricatures of young love Instead, she inserts a rather brilliant thread involving the dangers of being too close, too young In this way, she s telling us that although these two wonderful creatures belong together, things don t always end up the way we think they should She s careful to let her audience know that these are still children, that there will be other choices, other paths, other dangers, presented to them as time goes on The risk comes from obsession, from thinking a situation to be too good to be true She warns against holding on to this love, even if it might hurt to let go, because in life, when things go bad, the hurt and pain will do nothing but drag you into a deeper well of despair, the full cost of which may actually be a loss of self or identity.As I said, this point isn t preached about, but it s there And this line of reasoning is pressed up against the surface themes of the work responsibility, morality, and loyalty This is illustrated wonderfully when the characters finally come face to face with the werewolf killer, himself I won t get into the particulars, but it was quite refreshing to see that a simplistic tale such as this, which often can veer into absolute shades of black and white, took the opportunity to splash massive amounts of gray on the landscape What makes us who we are, the story asks And who is to blame when we discover that those we ve judged have reasons beyond our capacity to understand for acting and thinking the way they do, that their lives, and their actions, are the result of a cacophony of unfortunate life experiences The book offers no answers to this question, only begs for forgiveness, for patience, for perspective In this regard, I ll even go out on a limb and say that this book may not only be an outlet for entertainment, but a teaching tool for the young, as well It has something to say, after all, and it states its message with class and respect.Now I have to be honest here and say that I was this close to giving Spirit Storm only the third perfect scoreI ve ever handed out By the time I reached the last page, however, I discovered that I couldn t For as wonderful as the first ninety percent of the book is, I found the last bit a little unsatisfactory Again, I won t go into detail, but there is a huge buildup to a climax that never seemed to come I ll leave this open to interpretation by the rest of you readers out there, because I m only one man and perhaps I m saddled with a need for action and resolution Perhaps others will see the ending differently, perhaps they ll find it perfect for the story it has to tell But for this reviewer, it was slightly disappointing.However, with that being said, the points I dock for this are minimal The rest of the book is fabulous More than anything, it is beautiful in both style and substance It s a quick read, and I continued to fall in love with the characters and root for them to succeed, both at the tasks at hand and at love, as the layers that make them who they are get pulled back The romance between Yuki and Cal is refreshingly innocent yet needy, and it s interesting to think about whether they ll be able to grow as people or if they ll find their only distinguishing characteristics are each other This is a story of perseverance and devotion, both to loved ones and community, and still makes sure to let you know that there are pressures, both internal and external, that wish to rip apart everything they ve built.What else can I say I adored this book, ending be damned It deserves to be up there in the pantheon of new PR releases, right alongside Amanda Hocking, another of my favorites in the genre I know I will be passing both Spirit Storm and She Smells the Dead down to my daughter, and I will feel confident in doing so confident that the messages she receives from the words Stevens has put down on paper will enlighten, amuse, and most important of all, make her think.That s really all you can ask for.Plot 10Characters 10Voice 9Execution 7Personal Enjoyment 9Overall 45 50 4.5 5 Yuki is back in the eagerly awaited Spirit Guide series With great friends surrounding and supporting her, Yuki still has to deal with snide putdowns from some snooty highschool classmates, but she manages stay true to her own unique self even under duress I enjoyed her attire choices in the first book and once again found myself grinning and mentally picturing her get ups in this book Her clothing accessories, while odd, make perfect sense, once she explains.This is another feel good read that is masterfully told, with witty, often humorous, dialogues and action scenes I do have some concerns about possible repercussions from, what I consider to be a brilliantly executed though ill advised venture, on the wrong side of the law, and against a powerful sect, but I am pretty sure my concerns will be addressed in the next installment of Spirit Guide adventures that should be released later this year Again, this fabulous adventure should appeal not only to young adults but to anyone who likes characters with grit and charisma who strive always to overcome adversity characters that will touch your heart and gladden your soul. In the world of the paranormal, the imagination reigns supreme Populated by mysterious supernatural beings, and mortals possessing extraordinary powers, Spirit Storm by E.J Stevens, is an enchanting tale that transports the reader to an intriguing realm of spirits, werewolves and murder This is the second installment of her fascinating Spirit Guide Series Yuki is a High School Senior with a unique psychic awareness SHE SMELLS THE DEAD Actually, they come in the form of smell impressions according to Calvin Miller, her Alpha male soul mate Both Yuki and Calvin have totems who guide them in their lives Yuki has a special calling, which is to lead lost souls to the light, but she must be careful there are angry spirits as well She learns that on Samhain, the night of Halloween, the spirits of the dead roam free Samhain is nigh upon her, and the veil begins to thin Yuki and her friend Emma race frantically in search of an ancient amulet The metal will guard her against the spirit horde However, there is a slight problem The amulet is in the possession of a witch Yuki is in grave danger Meanwhile, a young werewolf from Calvin s pack is discovered heinously murdered He and his second in command, Simon, begin searching for the madman Yuki has a brilliant idea of how they might find the killer and begins a research at the school library She wants to know how to kill a werewolf Yuki asks the librarian if anyone has been checking out books on the same subject Suddenly, a person races right past Yuki The librarian informs her that the racing individual was looking into the same subject matter as well Did Yuki just cross paths with the werewolf killer Yuki must prepare for the bombardment of angry spirits who threaten to steal her mind Calvin is needed to find the werewolf killer and end the loss of life Will her soul mate be there for her when she needs him the most Yuki knows that death is not the worst thing this spirit horde is capable of The storm is coming There will be no escaping it Ms Stevens is a writer who chooses a large canvas and fills it to the edges She exquisitely balances the various plot threads, while maintaining gripping suspense, mystery, humor, romance, and simmering tension Calvin and Yuki are the primary characters in Spirit Storm, and Ms Stevens develops them beautifully The story is told from Yuki s perspective, and flows smoothly from start to finish The novel is fast paced and highly entertaining I enjoyed Yuki and Emma s vegan inspired rants, Simon teasing Yuki, and Yuki firing back by calling him an old man I adored Yuki and Calvin Their love and devotion for each other was deep and heart felt It was very inspiring I believe the fascinating terrain of this tale is the question of how and why people decide to care as they do I highly recommend Spirit Storm to anyone looking to experience a thrilling paranormal ride through intriguing mystery, heart pounding suspense, and the pain and joy of true love I can t wait to see what Ms Stevens has in store in the third book of the Spirit Guide series The Legend of Witchtrot Road is due to release fall 2011 Be prepared to be enchanted by Spirit Storm Here is an admirable story of love and wonder Review by Gina LupoMember of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team Spirit Storm is the second book in E.J Stevens Spirit Guide Series and it just keeps getting better Yuki, Cal, Emma and Simon are back with their weird mixture of gifts and problems When the book opens it s October 30 in Salem Massachusetts and Yuki is getting ready to break into an occult shop run by witches We go back to October 20th in Maine to find out how this strange event has come about Yuki and Cal are in the parking lot of school when Cal receives a picture on his cell phone from Simon of a dead wolf who is a member of Cal s pack During the course of the book another pack member is abducted and the gang have to figure out who is doing this To add to their problems, Yuki is gearing up for Samham, Halloween night, when the spirits of the dead run free Not a good thing for someone who can smell the dead Emma has developed the odd ability of snakes talking to her and she isn t pleased Yuki is also smelling the dead, who she is assuming might be their first victim How will they get through all their trials and how does Yuki end up breaking into an occult shop These questions and are answered in this action packed fun read.There are times you read the first book in a series and think to yourself, I wonder how the author is going to top that Unfortunately, most of the time they don t, the second book of the series is just not as good as the first That is not the case here, Spirit Storm is just as good, if not better than She Smells The Dead The kids are handling issues this time, and handling them with maturity and humor Yuki learns to connect with her spirit guide, the dung beetle I kid you not , and with it s help learns how to connect with Cal s wolf better Simon and Emma play a huge role in helping out Yuki and Cal and along the way we get insight into their personalities The humor from the first book is carried over into this book and I found myself chuckling than once at some of the scenes I have to admit, I have a little crush on Simon and am I seeing something develop between him and Emma The bond between these four people is a strong one and they work well together This book is technically for Young Adults but actually all ages will enjoy reading it There is no strong language, although we do have Yuki s favorite expletive son of a dung beetle still occurring Everyone is now able to raise one eyebrow except Yuki, I ve tried, it s hard to do I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a good story with a few laughs, a good mystery, some mystic happenings and some strange spirit guides. I enjoyed this second book in E.J s series I just really enjoy the characterseveryone has such a different personality I could read about these characters for a long time and hopefully E.J keeps writing about them as they grow together with all their gifts I also enjoyed all the explanations about Samhain and the traditions I really did not know a whole lot behind Halloween and what it meantnow I do I d like to see one of the characters have a happy ending.no names to spoil though I adore Yuki s vegan friendhilarious This is a very good YA series but now it s time for me to go to an adult book then back to YAlol I would love to see cough, cough Cal but it is YAlots of kissing is yummy too Spirit Storm is the second instalment in the Spirit Guide book series by E J Stevens This Young Adult Paranormal series follows the adventures of protagonist Yuki and friends as they attempt to cope with a lot of supernatural happenings.Spirit Storm, alike to it s predecessor She Smells the Dead, is told from the first person perspective of Yuki Yuki is a strong protagonist whom is both entertaining and believable She has a gift and it s not necessarily one she loves she can smell the dead She experiences smell impressions of souls who have passed on but need closure in order to go into the light That s where Yuki comes in she has to help them find their closure The smell impressions distract her from everyday life and sometimes even make her feel uncomfortable.So it s understandable that she feels apprehensive and afraid that Samhain is fast approaching Samhain is the night when the veil between the worlds is at it s thinnest and thus spirits can cross over to the world and it s Yuki who these souls will come to.Time is running out for Yuki and her friends to find a solution to help her survive Samhain and it s not only Yuki who has problems to deal with First of all there s Cal Cal is the love of Yuki s life and also werewolf He and fellow werewolf friend Simon have a barbaric werewolf killer to find before the killer finds them Secondly, there s Yuki s BFF Emma She s got boy troubles to deal with.The aspect of this series I love the most is the characters Stevens has created an interesting, unique bunch of characters I can imagine these characters to become even stronger as the series progresses Yuki and Cal s relationship is compelling to read about In some respects, I feel as though I m going through their relationship with them I ve said it before but I ll say it again these two have the potential to be a power couple in literature This instalment also peeked my interest in Emma and Simon as a couple It hasn t happened but the chemistry is there and I can only hope The plot is fast paced and full of plenty of action which allows it to be a page turner I read Spirit Storm in one sitting as I couldn t bare to put it down I definitely recommend this book and the series as a whole for fans of the paranormal genre After completion, I developed the feeling of loss I get when I want to read the next instalment right away It comes out in Fall 2011 I can t wait A thoroughly enjoyable read from my new favourite Author, E J Stevens.