Thursday, June 25, 2009


At age 14, author Melissa Burmester makes her writing debut with her first novel, ‘Ginger High.’ Part supernatural and part mystery, ‘Ginger High’ tells the story of two realities colliding that result in a spine-tingling adventure to solve a string of murders taking place at a supernatural school.

‘Ginger High’ spans the period of 1901 to 2007. Ginger High is a magical school in New York where students learn to utilize their supernatural powers. The story opens in 1901 where a series of murders takes place at the school with the victims found dead with a bite mark on their necks. The plot then advances to modern day where a young girl by the name of, Daisy Fisher, attends Ginger High after her school burns down. Daisy and her friends along, with supernatural beings Amanta, Matthias, and Taeru, who have traveled through a portal from the supernatural world of Animist, work together to find a murderer. Animist is an alternate world where supernatural beings with special powers reside. In the story, the portal to earth becomes closed due to a War taking place on Animist. The plot advances to include the supernatural powers of vampires and magical powers of those who can teleport, heal others, and create fire.

As juvenile fiction, ‘Ginger High’ taps into the popular supernatural genre. The central plot is about uncovering a murderer, but engaging subplots and themes are interwoven to make the story a page-turning adventure. Much of the character development centers on Matthias, Daisy, and Amanta. Such development includes Daisy coming to terms with her supernatural powers as well as evolving to a strong and independent young girl. As a feisty and head-strong young girl, Daisy is a character young readers will identify with and root for. As well, readers will follow Amanta as he struggles to survive and comes to terms with a family secret he has kept from his brother.

There was a bit more dialogue than description. Setting descriptions could have been a bit more detailed. There could have also been a little more ‘show’ and a little less ‘tell.’ As well, I would have like to have learned a bit more about the war taking place on Animist.

At age 14, Melissa Burmester clearly has a gift for story telling. The hidden secrets that are unraveled make the story an enjoyable read. ‘Ginger High’ is highly recommended to readers who enjoy action packed adventure wrapped in exciting supernatural suspense.

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