"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost"
Review: Texas Gothic was (and still is) a top favorite book the year I read it. When the author announced another book set in the same universe, I was, understandably excited and giddy. Due to some issues last year, I fell way behind on my fangirl reading. This one was rotting away on my Kindle when I ran across it.
Daisy Goodnight made a brief appearance in Texas Gothic, and from what I saw, I instantly liked Daisy. She's a bit on the rough side, and tends to speak her mind. In Spirit and Dust we see her come forward and learn more about her background and her seemingly "bad" attitude. The story leaned more towards mobster mystery, but the plot was pulled off nicely. The second Goodnight book also delves further into ghost lore and afterlife beliefs, and starts to set deeper roots for Clement-Moore's own world-building.
▪ I have to say Daisy is, by far, my favorite Goodnight. This is not to say that I don't love Amy and Phin, but Daisy matched my own personality type, and therefore, I felt that Daisy was a kindred spirit. She has a very calloused outer shell, but below all of it, she is a deeply caring and serious individual. Daisy sees herself as an idealist, but at the same time, she knows that she isn't the answer to everything. Even with her strong morals and unwavering sense of loyalty, Daisy still falls victim to doubt from time to time.
▪ The story kept me guessing, and I was taken by surprise by the ending. This mystery was pulled off with a touch of magic and a ton of well thought-out planning.
▪ I enjoyed how Clement-Moore used ghost mythology and her own personal interpretation of the afterlife and beyond for her story. Emotions run high for this novel, and I was able to siphon the feelings of sadness and eternity from the characters.
▪ Magic makes for a stronger element in Spirit and Dust. I did enjoy the mystic vein of "realistic" magic in Texas Gothic, but some of the events linked to the magic made for some very exciting scenes.
▪ Even though this was set out side of Texas, I liked the references that only a fellow Texas could throw out. Daisy's comments and thoughts about the cold amused me to no end.
▪ The romance actually bothered me. I wasn't too crazy about the main love interest. I wanted it to go a different way (I want to keep this as spoiler-free as possible).
▪ While the magic made for a awesome reading, I liked that the first book had a strong "realistic" feel.
▪ The author warned about this problem in her notes at the end of the book, but property damage actually bothers me. I wasn't able to shake my feeling of discomfort.