Book Review: The Black Parade (Book 1) by Kyoko M.
Plot Summary (Taken from Amazon): Jordan Amador. 21. New Yorker. Waitress. Mild alcoholic. Murderer. Two years ago, Jordan accidentally shot and killed a Seer: a person who can see, hear, and talk to ghosts with unfinished business. Her crime came with a hefty price, too. She has two years to help a hundred souls cross over to the afterlife or her soul is bound for hell. Tough break.
As if that weren’t bad enough, two days before her deadline a handsome pain-in-the-ass poltergeist named Michael strolls into her life. His soul is the key to her salvation, but the cost just might be more than she can handle. Solving his death puts her right in the crosshairs of Belial: a vain, bloodthirsty archdemon who won’t rest until she’s his slave. Can she rescue Michael and save her own soul, or will they both be dragged down into the clutches of the eternal black parade?
My Review: One of the best things about the book is its main characters Jordan and Michael. Jordan is a Hispanic and black young woman who can handle herself physically but not emotionally. At first, she can only defend herself with martial arts and a gun, but is vulnerable because of a traumatic past. As the story moves forward, she becomes physically and emotionally stronger. Overall, she is someone anyone can relate to, but she is a really good protagonist for women of color.
Meanwhile, Michael is a helpful, friendly poltergeist for some chapters until he discovers a bigger identity. Once he does, he starts becoming closer to Jordan by being a source of emotional comfort as well as a mentor that teaches Jordan to develop new abilities. Even though he becomes protective over Jordan, he still treats her with respect and allows her to live her life and make her own choices.
Besides the main characters, the setting of the story was very creative. It is reminiscent of the television show Supernatural, because behind the real world lies a word of angels, demons, and ghosts. The author did a good job blending the supernatural world with the real world, especially when it came to how these worlds affected Jordan’s life.
Also, the plot of the story was very compelling. There are action scenes that are described so that the reader is holding their breath. Besides this, the romance develops at an appropriate pace. Also, emotionally heavy scenes make the reader sympathize with Jordan without overdoing the drama. Furthermore, the humor that occurs between Jordan and other characters will make the reader chuckle or smile.
In addition, the themes of love and hatred were woven into the story well. For instance, Jordan struggles to overcome her self-hatred and realize she is capable of being loved by someone. Another example is Jordan’s mother representing love, and Jordan’s Aunt Carmen representing hate. These themes give the story a good message.
Overall, this book was a fantastic read. I recommend this to urban fantasy fans, especially if you enjoy the television shows Supernatural and Castle. Furthermore, I recommend this to people of color, especially females who are looking for a good representation of themselves in fantasy. Due to the strong violence, mild alcohol use, and strong sexual content, I also recommend this book for older teens and up.