After solving a series of murders and banishing a demon, Wes Cooper and Hudson Rojas are now settling into their lives together. They have opened a private investigation firm, along with their friend, Iskander, and newbie vampire, Evan. The group has formed a found family, along with Wes’ best friend, Lexi, and things are going well between the newly reunited Wes and Hudson.
However, as good as things are with them, Wes is keeping a huge secret. Ever since their battle with the demon, Wes’ abilities have grown tremendously. Now he not only can travel as a ghost through the otherplane, but he has seemingly endless amounts of magic that is practically bursting out of him. Wes knows he should have told his friends right away, but with things in chaos, he kept putting it off, and now it seems way too late to share the news. Especially when they are suddenly battling a host of otherworldly creatures that are appearing in the living realm. Imps are attacking, hell hounds are appearing, and ghosts seem to be everywhere. It is clear that something is causing a rift between realms, but no one knows the cause or how to stop it.
Wes, Hudson, and their friends try to figure out what is causing crisis and they begin to dig deeper into mystery. Wes knows he has to come clean with his friends about what is going on with him, but he worries if they know the truth, they will reject him. But as his power grows and the threats increase, Wes also realizes that he will have to be honest and they will all need to work together if there is any hope of saving the city from disaster.
Give Up the Ghost is the second book in Jenn Burke’s fabulous Not Dead Yet series. The story picks up in the aftermath of the events of the last book, and Hudson and Wes carry over as main characters, so being familiar with the series will definitely enhance your experience here. However, the basics of the world building and past events are explained here if you want to jump right in.
This story builds nicely on the first book, showing clearly the bond that has grown among the team, as well as the commitment Hudson and Wes have to moving forward with a relationship together. The early parts are a little rocky as Wes is keeping a huge secret from everyone, and each time he even considers spilling, things get in the way. I’ll admit, the big secret isn’t my favorite trope, but fortunately Burke doesn’t let it linger too long, and while Wes does have to deal with the fall out form withholding the information, the story moves forward nicely. I am enjoying seeing the relationship between the two men grow, particularly since they are trying again after each was too focused on other priorities to give their relationship a real chance the first time around. It is clear they are committed to one another and that their connection is growing over the course of the book. I also like the found family aspect here and watching them work together with Iskander, Lexi, and Evan and seeing how important they all are to one another.
The investigation element is really nicely done and one of the hallmarks of this series for me is the great world building. I enjoyed the way the conflict slowly builds as a set of seemingly unrelated occurrences coalesce into a huge crisis. The pieces come together nicely and kept me excited and engaged to watch them all figure out how to fight the threats. Burke keeps things exciting and the suspense is high throughout the book. There were some places toward the end that felt a teeny bit meandering for me, but overall I really enjoyed the paranormal investigation aspect of the story and continue to find the creativity high here with this series.
So this was another great installment in Burke’s Not Dead Yet series. I am excited to see there is more coming later this year, as this is really a stellar paranormal series and I can’t wait for more. Definitely consider this series highly recommended.