By Kayla Whittle
Have you ever reflected on a book series years after finishing it and wished for one more installment in order to update you on the characters lives’ since the end of the original series?
That’s exactly what Meg Cabot has done for old fans of her “Mediator” series, a set of six young adult novels released in the early 2000s. With a new spin-off series of adult books featuring the same characters but set years after the conclusion of the original books, these extra additions add more spice and intrigue as Cabot had more room to work with adult characters.
“Remembrance,” the first book in the series, is written so that newcomers to the story can understand and grow to love Suze Simon just as wholeheartedly as old fans do. Suze is a mediator — she can see ghosts and her job is to help them move on to the afterlife. Unfortunately, sometimes this means kicking some ghost butt when someone doesn’t want to move on. Threats come from the living, too, especially when half of the ghosts Suze deals with have been murdered.
Cabot does a fantastic job of capturing the voice and spunk that make Suze such a fun character to read about. The original books were much shorter than these adult novels, just long enough for an engaging read to be finished in a few hours, but they were packed with so much action that readers couldn’t help clamoring for more.
While Cabot keeps the same tone and pace in “Remembrance,” the delivery somewhat fails. Instead of writing something new and exciting, it seems like most of the book is spent with Suze lamenting that she hasn’t yet married her boyfriend, rather than spending time solving mysteries and trying to hide the fact that she can see ghosts.
Still, Suze cracks enough jokes and carries the plot along well enough to keep things interesting. There are appearances from well-known characters from past books and it’s incredible to see how everyone’s lives have turned out in the gap between the young adult novels and “Remembrance.”
A villain who plagued the original books is back, possibly more terrible than ever before. Paul, another mediator, is the creepy “ex-boyfriend” (who was never quite Suze’s boyfriend). He’s incredibly rich and can buy his way out of anything — or so he seems to believe.
Overall, this paranormal romance is a throwback that old fans will love, but one that might fail to attract new followers. The nostalgia factor in the books is a powerful motivator for readers to purchase the new series. In the books to come, Cabot might add more to some of the overarching plots established in “Remembrance” and build up to something that makes this series more memorable. For now, “Remembrance” is available for old fans to reminisce and indulge in.