A Summoning of Souls (A Spectral City Novel)

Written by Leanna Renee Hieber
Review by Bryan Dumas

Eve Whitby and her Ghost Precinct face off for one last confrontation in Hieber’s thrilling final chapter in the Spectral City series. Set in a slightly alternate New York circa 1899, Eve Whitby—a Sensitive who has seen ghosts since a child—squares off with Albert Prenze, who was thought dead (A Sanctuary of Spirits) but is masquerading as his twin brother, as she and her team of mediums—all with unique and special abilities—attempt to unravel the sinister events swirling about his city mansion. Complicating matters is Eve’s growing romantic feelings toward Det. Jacob Horowitz. Albert’s growing psychic powers continually put Eve and her team in danger and slowly, they come to understand that Albert wants to rid New York of all spirits.

Hieber creates a delightfully moody and evocative city where spirits wander side-by-side with the living, there for anyone who can see them. Secondary characters, like the wild and charming Maggie, steal a little of the limelight from Eve, but always to the overall benefit of the story. Eve and Jacob’s burgeoning feelings add a light air to the overall tense, fast-paced plotting. Hieber does a good job maintaining the rigid social norms that existed during the Gilded Age and highlights the struggles women found in workplaces outside the traditional roles—especially for a woman who can speak with the dead. Creative uses of people like Harry Houdini and an acknowledgment of the charlatans who occupied the realm of spiritualists grounds the story in historical facts. Readers are advised to start with the first in the series.