The Haunting of Tyler May
By B J Mears
The Tyler May series, is an exciting and I would say innovative read. The protagonists age through the books, their experiences allowing them to evolve and change with each challenge that they face. The reason I call the series innovative is its approach to the idea of a ghost story and allowing it to be plausible and relevant as well as engaging. Also the concept of Haunting and what it really means is different to what is expected.
The characters themselves are thought out and exist plausibly. The very mundane teenage worries serve to heighten and ground the supernatural elements of the series. Tyler May, the main character is a likable heroine, gutsy enough to get into trouble but sensible enough to realise when she is in too deep, she unafraid to ask for help but tries hard not to need it. Also sudden skills such as an ability to climb tall fences and other athletic abilities are realistically explained ensuring the reader does not feel cheated. Melissa, the best friend is the voice of reason but also the listening ear, as the series progresses she comes into her own. Lucy says what we are all thinking she is sarcastic and not a little bit bolshie, yet she is likable because of it.
The villains of the series are just as well thought out and the idea of Nazis and the occult is not just well serialised in fiction, but increasingly well known in historical fact. Yet what Mears does with this connection is certainly an approach I’ve never seen before. He does not take the most likely of the Nazi elite as his main villain but picks one, that given the ages of the protagonists and the facts known of the historical person, is truly terrifying.
In all I would highly recommend the series, to give it a target age I would recommend twelve and up. The writing is fluid complex enough to be interesting but not overly so as to isolate the reader. It has been enjoyed by adults and children alike.