Portrait of a Ghost, Parker Avrile

Portrait of a Ghost by [Avrile, Parker]

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark," or maybe it's a bit of “Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.”  Whatever the basis of rumors that swirl around Mark's appearance is, nothing compares to the tragedy in his own soul.  With a youthful visage and a tragic event that froze Mark from the inside out, he has little expectation of a happy future.  That is, until a handsome, young Leo takes the empty art teacher's position and inserts himself into Mark's life and consciousness bringing life, color, and that insidious little emotion called hope.  But it's the unseen enemy that could bring everything they're building to a deadly end if Mark can't find the will to choose Leo over his past.

There was a lot of potential here.  In the story itself, the characters, the romance, and the drama.  The reality, however, fell a bit short.  Mark was a little easier to know because we get so much of his perspective but I felt his character lacking in strength and motivation.  Things were also a bit too mysterious around him.  As for Leo, he was pretty basic.  We get his basic background and motivations but not a lot to really endear him to me.  The rest of the cast is kind of interesting but most of them have issues with Mark yet come out as friends later...not really a smooth transition or really all that believable.  Their romantic relationship could have been much more developed as well.

When we finally get to the climax it's violent in its otherworldly exhibition...but also not.  I didn't actually feel any true resolution or get any concrete answers as to what was going on with the ghost thing.  There was an explanation given but I just didn't think it was adequate to satisfy everything that the story was building up to.  It was a little too neat and psychiatric/head shrink of an answer which felt kind of deflating.  Overall the story had promise but fell short in many ways.  It wasn't a bad read by any means, it just built up a whole lot but didn't fully deliver.

*$3.99 on Amazon!
 Portrait of a Ghost, Parker Avrile

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