Review by Frank Plowright
Calexa is the Cemetery Girl, unable to recover her memory since being dumped in a South Carolina cemetery and left for dead. An unintended consequence of this trauma was being able to communicate with the spirits of recently dead whose business remains unfinished. At first scared and uncertain, Calexa has come to terms with her newfound talent, and in Inheritance was bequeathed a house near the graveyard where she’s afraid to live. While Calexa’s memory hasn’t recovered, in Haunted writers Charmaine Harris and Christopher Golden shift the attention away from her in the early stages, revealing who’s looking for her, hinting at why, and at how she came to be in such a terrible predicament. As Haunted concludes the trilogy, all is revealed before the end.
Geraldo Borges takes over from Don Kramer as the artist, and is equally good, a little looser and more cartoony in places. In others the use of a letratone effect, and the real world locations bring to mind Al Williamson’s Secret Agent Corrigan work.
A nice aspect of Cemetery Girl is Harris and Golden emphasising there are good people in the world. Both here and in the earlier books Calexa is the recipient of the kindness of strangers, people who can sense a basic good nature, and help out when they can. She needs that help, as the tone switches into full thriller mode, right down to the car chase. Even Calexa’s use of powers feeds into that mood. In taking that direction, however well it’s delivered, mystery is supplanted with action, and of the type even a young adult audience is likely to have seen before. Reach just past the halfway point, and little mystery remains. A strength of the series has been the carefully constructed sympathetic personalities, but that barely applies to anyone introduced in Haunted, nearly all of whom are stock villains, so while this is an adequate conclusion that explains everything, it’s hardly sparkling.
This seems a hefty book, but beware, only half of it is occupied by the comics content. Almost as many pages are taken up by the script from which Borges worked. While there may be a few budding comics writers who’ll find this interesting, the majority of the young adult audience who bought the first two books would surely have preferred paying far less and doing without the script.