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Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite
Sunset Empire (Volume 1) by Melissa Ousley is a YA paranormal tale. Following a fire that destroys her house, Elyse Pythan moves to Astoria to live with a grandmother she had never known. Her grandmother is strict, but Elyse rebels against her and discovers what her mother never told her – her family could well be responsible for a fire that almost destroyed Astoria in 1922, disappearances that span centuries, and the death of a girl who lingers in the tunnels beneath Astoria, seeking vengeance. Phantom is an attractive local boy who wants to help Elyse find out the truth. Phantom is a bit of an outcast with a dark past from his own family, a past that could turn him from being a friend into being a hunter.
Sunset Empire (Volume 1) by Melissa Ousley is a fun story, a mixture of fantasy, paranormal, and just downright creepy at times. It is part thriller and starts off on a high note, just getting better as the story moves along. The story is peppered with nuggets of historical information and myths from the area of Astoria, Oregon, adding an interesting dimension to the plot. The plot is good, with plenty of twists and turns, and is full of vivid descriptions that bring the story to life. The characters are well developed, brought to life and easy to identify with. Although this is touted as a young adult paranormal story, I believe that many older readers would enjoy it as well and I was pleased to see that Ms. Ousley has set the scene very well for the next book – I will be reading it.