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Sylvia Kelso

Blackston Gold, Book 2

ISBN: 978-1-4328-2547-8

Five Star (Gale, Cengage Learning)

Reviewed by Lorraine Cormack

The Time Seam continues and completes the story begun in The Solitaire Ghost. It will provide a satisfying conclusion for readers of the earlier novel, and although it may not make quite so much sense to new readers, should also be accessible to those who haven’t read part one.

Dorian Wild is a successful solicitor, happy in her relationship and friendships, and with a nice stable future in front of her. Until in book one (The Solitaire Ghost) she gets in the elevator to go up to her office, and watches as a ghost walks out of the floor and places a miner’s panning dish on her head. Her future shatters. Soon the ghost is physically impinging on her time, and it becomes urgent to work out who he is and why Dorian has begun to see him. Friends believe her – in fact they’ve begun to see him too – but not all of them are able to help her. Her lover, for example, is distracted by the illegal antics of the megacorp that is taking over the gold mine he works at. It becomes clear that the two problems – the ghost and the megacorp – are intertwined, and Dorian faces heartbreak, mystery, and danger. It seems that Dorian must solve both problems or neither; and she won’t get any peace until she does find a solution.

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Sylvia Kelso

Blackston Gold, Volume 1

ISBN: 978-1-43282-532-4

Publisher: Five Star (Gale, Cengage Learning)

Reviewed by Lorraine Cormack

The Solitaire Ghost is something of a departure from Kelso’s earlier novels. Although this too is a fantasy, it is more or less contemporary, being set in 2012, and it is set in an Australia only fractionally different to ours rather than the more distinctly fantastical worlds she has previously favoured. She has maintained strong characterisation and interesting plotting, although she has adopted a more straightforward writing style.

The Solitaire Ghost is volume one of Blackston Gold, with the story being completed in The Time Seam.  The novel simply stops dead at a critical point; to get any sense of completion you will need to read volume two as well. Most readers will not find that a hardship, I think.

Dorian Wild is a successful solicitor, happy in her relationship and friendships, and with a nice stable future in front of her. Then one day she gets in the elevator to go up to her office, and watches as a ghost walks out of the floor and places a miner’s panning dish on her head while he rebalances his load. Her future shatters. It’s bad enough when she’s seeing ghosts; once her friends and lover start seeing him as well, it becomes urgent to work out who he is and why Dorian has begun to see him. The urgency increases as he physically impinges on her time and Dorian suspects he is not a ghost, and is somehow connected to the megacorp which is driving her into heartbreak, mystery, and danger.

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