Title: Dead Jealous/Dead Silent (Poppy Sinclair Series 1&2)
Author: Sharon Jones
Dead Jealous introduces sleuth Poppy Jones, who is attending a pagan festival with her parents who are later becoming handfasted during the festivities. However, when Poppy discovers the dead body of a girl she met less than 24 hours before her death, she takes it upon herself to figure out who murdered the girl, and why. With paranormal elements and pagan beliefs questioning Poppy’s faith in science, she has a limited amount of time to discover what went wrong before the culprit is left to roam free…
Taking place mere months after the events of Dead Jealous, Dead Silent opens with Michael and Poppy taking a trip to Cambridge University, for an interview that will hopefully secure Michael a place in the prestigious university. However, things start to go awry when Poppy finds her father in the chapel, cradling a student who has been murdered. Again, Poppy is thrust into a murder investigation that doesn’t completely rely on usual methods of sleuthing.
I received Dead Silent as a review ARC on NetGalley, so I had to buy Dead Jealous as I hadn’t heard of the series before. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointing!
I’ll start off with my thoughts on Dead Jealous. I was a bit wary at first because I don’t usually enjoy mysteries, but I did really like Dead Jealous. I think it was because Dead Jealous was set in such an unusual place – there are not many books set in a pagan festival, much less in YA, which gave it a paranormal air. It touched on psychic abilities as well, and as I was reading I thought that maybe there could be some kind of development regarding this – but, by the end of the book, I was still questioning this, which isn’t a bad thing.
I found Dead Jealous hard to get into, but I think that was mostly because of my own reluctance for mysteries. Once I got into the book, however, I was very anxious to find out how the book was going to end, and I kept guessing at who the murderer was (I wasn’t right, at least until it became so obvious that it would be embarrassing if I didn’t notice). I really enjoyed this book, but the only thing that let it down was the romance. It was overplayed, and I feel like it was unnecessary and didn’t really add anything to the plot. I knew that Poppy and Michael would end up together, and I wasn’t really interested in any of the troubles that they encountered regarding their situation.
Dead Silent however, was a fairly different story for me. I found the first quarter fairly boring, since it mostly focused on Michael and Poppy’s relationship. I pushed through however, because I knew that it would pick up very soon. And pick up it did! I was immersed in a murder mystery that was quickly turning very sour, especially for Poppy and Michael. I loved how like Dead Jealous, there was a rich history and other-worldly feeling in the book. However, I also feel like Poppy did a lot running around and not a lot of problem solving in the last part of the novel.
I like how Sharon Jones manages to balance the paranormal and the ordinary world perfectly. It leads to a very interesting read, and teemed up with the murder mystery aspects of the novel, it is a great premise for a good series.
I did enjoy both of the novels, but I much preferred Dead Jealous to Dead Silent. I would still recommend them both because they were very enjoyable, and a much different take on paranormal aspects in YA.