The Unbelievables #3: The Girl Who Loved Ghosts – K.C. Tansley

Magic! Gargoyles! A spell library! Wraiths! Time travel! A 1,000 page compendium of unbelievables that I need to read urgently! Breakfast! This is such a fun series!

Kat has already faced spells, curses and unbelievables, and risked her life by travelling to the past to retrieve invaluable items. Now she needs to attempt to find the Mallory amulet, which has been missing for over two centuries. This will likely be more dangerous than any of her previous missions to the past and it doesn’t help that her personal life is a mess.

My best friend was pulling away from me. My partner in the occult arts no longer had time for me. And my ghost mentor was actually ghosting me. This was not what I expected my senior year of high school to be like.

Four families have been bound together for centuries. Kat, the Langley heir, has been spending her weekends completing as much magical training as possible with Evan, the Kingsley heir, to prepare themselves to defeat the Dark One. Kat’s feelings towards Evan have been growing but she doesn’t know where she stands with him, and besides, when Langleys and Kingsleys fall in love it never ends well.

The Langley and Kingsley families protect the Radcliffes. The fourth family, the Mallory’s, are the historians and secret keepers; they’re so secretive that no one even knows who the current Mallory heir is.

The coolest ghost I know, Toria, was MIA when this story began but she remains one of my favourite characters. I loved getting to spend some quality time at Dumbarton with Kat’s aunts, Vivian and Jacqueline. Abrasive Jacqueline is really growing on me and I still wish sweetheart Vivian was my aunt. She always manages to snag the best lines – “Dear, the dead aren’t always at your beck and call. … They do have their own afterlife to live.”

While I adore Dumbarton (I need to live there!), I was excited to finally visit the Kingsley ancestral home, Ravenshurt, inspired by this real life awesomeness in Belgium, a neo-Gothic castle called Château Miranda.

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I finally know who the current Mallory heir is and the reveal was worth the wait! No, I’m not telling you who it is! I also found out some useful information about the Dark One and I have my suspicions about who may be in cahoots with them but I hope I’m wrong.

While the first two books in the series are told solely from Kat’s perspective, Evan’s voice is also included in this book. I enjoyed learning more about him (he loves manga!) but don’t feel he’s had enough page time yet for me to readily distinguish his voice from Kat’s.

I got sucked straight into the story, even though it’s been almost two years since I read the second book in the series. It did take me a little while to click back into remembering who all of the ancestors were and the specifics of Kat and Evan’s previous time travel adventures. I was so grateful to have the second book on hand when I finished the first and think it would have helped me initially if it hadn’t been so long between reads.

I highly recommend reading this series in order. In theory you could just jump right in there and start with this book but you’d be setting yourself up for some major spoilers of the first two. The inclusion of family trees for the four families could be helpful for both continuing and new readers of this series.

Breakfast Bliss: blueberry pancakes, bacon and orange juice. May I please come and stay at Dumbarton, Aunt Vivian? You won’t even know I’m there! I promise to be quiet as I devour everything in your spell library and refrigerator.

Content warnings include mention of death by suicide.

Thank you so much to K.C. Tansley and Beckett Publishing Group, LLC for the opportunity to read an ARC of this book. I’m really looking forward to book 4!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

She’d do anything to save her friends and family. But will that mean sacrificing the ghosts she’s grown to love?

Kat is trying to settle back into her senior year at McTernan Academy, but destiny keeps getting in the way of schoolwork and friendships. Continuing her magical training means abandoning her best friend, until an attack by a mysterious entity on campus proves that the only place they’ll both be safe is Dumbarton, the ancestral home of the Langley family. 

Evan struggles with his coursework, a flirty new housemate, and his daunting responsibilities as the Kingsley heir and new owner of Ravenhurst manor. He tries to hold onto his normal college life, but he knows it’s only a matter of time before he and Kat have to travel into the past again … And Kat is in mortal danger every minute they wait to retrieve the last amulet they need to defeat the Dark One. 

As her normal life slips further away, Kat must face the terrible cost that comes with time travel. Completing her quest in the present requires changing the past. She knows that the results of her actions can be disastrous – because the ghosts of her ancestors tell her of their tragic fates. A trip to eighteenth-century Connecticut might change everything. Kat tries to protect everyone she loves, but risks destroying every relationship that matters to her.

The Unbelievables #2: The Girl Who Saved Ghosts – K.C. Tansley

👻 Happily Haunted Halloween Book! 👻

Where to start. Oh, I know! K.C. Tansley, puh-lease let me read book 3 ASAP! Without sounding too desperate, I’m The Girl Who Desperately Needs to Read Book 3! Right. So now that I’ve gotten that bit out of the way, let me tell you about book 2.

I am extraordinarily grateful that I had The Girl Who Saved Ghosts on hand when I finished reading The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts. While book 1 introduces us to some of our cast of characters, past, present and future, book 2 focuses more on Kat and Evan’s friendship, with a delicious side order of Toria and Alistair’s eternal love. ❤️

Disclaimer: As some of you already know, romance and I both pretend the other doesn’t exist and we’re happy that way, so for me to be wanting to read more about this couple is either a sign we’ve entered The Twilight Zone or it’s an awesome book.

Book 2 also introduces us to Kat’s two aunts on her unknown father’s side, Vivian and Jacqueline, who certainly got their fair share of the personality gene. Vivian is the lovely, caring, encouraging aunt and Jacqueline is, well, quite snippy (but with good reason) and does have a beating heart beneath her grimaces. We spend a fair amount of time at Dumbarton, safe haven for the Langley family. Vivian and Jacqueline are the guardians of Dumbarton and as such cannot leave, although seriously, why would they want to?!

Dumbarton is such an amazing place and has such yummy breakfasts that I don’t know why you’d ever leave. We’re talking “a plate of bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, French toast, and a fruit cup”, with coffee and orange juice to wash it down. If you’re still tempted to leave allow me to invite you on a tour of the super secret underground heart of the house that has some pretty cool features including a library of spells. And if you’re still not convinced, Dumbarton is the only place in the world where you are completely safe from all of the nasties, including the Dark One, who’s trying to destroy you. What? You’re staying? Awesome choice!

While at Dumbarton we get some of the goss on Maximillian, Kat’s absent father, and his sister, Shannon. We also go on a trip back in time to early nineteenth century Vienna where we catch up with more of the ancestors. I loved the new old alive people in the past but ghosts in the present characters in Vienna. The danger ramps up for Kat and Evan in this book, and Kat is more hopeful of the possibility of finally meeting her elusive father.

While we haven’t been given that much information about the Dark One yet, we did get to know a ‘villain’ in greater depth and I loved this person. You’ve gotta love a good villain and I especially like ones that are relatable, the ones where you can put yourself in their shoes and see how it would’ve been possible for you to make the same choices they did.

That’s one standout for me in books 1 and 2 of this series. The characters are substantial, not just your leads, but pretty much everyone. You learn their history, what makes them tick, why they made certain life changing decisions. Each of the four families have rich histories that all contribute to their combined mythology. Each step of the way I was piecing more of the overall puzzle together and I was given enough information to chew on so while I know there’s more to come, I don’t feel short changed by what I learned in this book.

And now for my Time Travel Conundrum. Please don’t click that spoiler button unless you are prepared for some spoilage and some possibly scary insights into the way my brain operates. In the first book, Kat took the Radcliffe rubies from the past and gave them back to the present day heir. In this book, Kat is supposed to go back in time to take the Kingsley dagger from Percy and give it to the present day heir. In the next book, we’re going to hopefully find the Mallory bracelet. These family amulets have been missing for generations. So my question is, would they have been missing in the first place if Kat didn’t time travel to the past to steal them?

I know that when this series comes to an end (hopefully after many more instalments) that I’m going to need to reread them. I’m already anticipating revisiting The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts to read it in the context of what I now know after finishing this book. I can only imagine that anticipation growing stronger as the series marches on.

Toria remains my favourite character and I was thrilled to get the chance to find out more about her human life and ghost life. I missed Morgan and Professor Astor’s continual presence and hope to see them with larger roles in future books. I also hope Kat has some of her blood in storage at Dumbarton. If she keeps doing spells that require her blood, at the rate she’s going she’ll be in need of a transfusion fairly soon. 😜

This book has taken me practically forever to finish (15 days) but it wasn’t for lack of enjoyment, obviously. I was so interested in learning more about the history of the four families and how everything was going to play out that I didn’t want to miss a thing. Each time I didn’t have prime reading conditions I’d reluctantly put this book aside and move on to something else until the stars aligned and I knew I’d get the most out of the experience. These are the kind of books that I come to the end of, sigh and say to whoever will listen, “That was so much fun!”

If you enjoy magic, time travel, ghosts, family legacies, loyalty to the death, friendships, the threat of the Big Bad lurking, or breakfast, then I highly recommend this series. I’d prefer you to start with book 1 so you know who’s who in the ghostie zoo, but if you don’t mind jumping in at the deep end and look forward to hearing me very politely telling you that I told you so, then start with book 2.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Beckett Publishing Group for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

She tried to ignore them. Now she might risk everything to save them.

After a summer spent in a haunted castle – a summer in which she traveled through time to solve a murder mystery – Kat is looking forward to a totally normal senior year at McTernan Academy. Then the ghost of a little girl appears and begs Kat for help, and more unquiet apparitions follow. All of them are terrified by the Dark One, and it soon becomes clear that that this evil force wants Kat dead. 

Searching for help, Kat leaves school for the ancestral home she’s only just discovered. Her friend Evan, whose family is joined to her own by an arcane history, accompanies her. With the assistance of her eccentric great aunts and a loyal family ghost, Kat soon learns that she and Evan can only fix the present by traveling into the past. 

As Kat and Evan make their way through nineteenth-century Vienna, the Dark One stalks them, and Kat must decide what she’s willing to sacrifice to save a ghost.

The Unbelievables #1: The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts – K.C. Tansley

👻 Haunted Halloween Book! 👻

“Ghosts don’t exist. They can’t touch me. They can’t hurt me. They aren’t real.”

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is one of those books that has everything you want and all the stuff you didn’t even know you needed, and yet it doesn’t feel cluttered.

Intelligent female main character that loves to read and doesn’t have a perfect body – ✔️

129 year old murder mystery to solve – ✔️

Intergenerational multi-family curse – ✔️

Ghosts, AKA, “I see dead people” – ✔️

Library in a castle on its own island with signed and first editions galore – ✔️

Time travel without a flux capacitor – ✔️

Bacon, eggs and coffee – ✔️

Secret passageways – ✔️

Sparkly gemstone jewellery – ✔️

Magic – ✔️

Kat grew up believing in the unbelievables. Ghosts were her childhood friends until something so scary happened that she had to stop believing. Fast forward eight years and Kat, now a junior at McTernan Academy, surrounds herself with people (especially unbelievers), animals, plants and stones, and recites her mantra to protect herself.

Kat accessorises with metal and stone – earrings, necklaces, bracelets, you name it, for additional protection. I loved that her knowledge of gemstones carries over into her descriptions of people whose eyes aren’t boring colours but instead are aquamarine, larimar, hematite and iolite.

Assisting Professor Astor with his research into the mysterious events 129 years ago at Castle Creighton, Kat knows she is delving into dangerous unbelievables territory. Along with best friend Morgan, Evan the Terrible and serial flirter Seth, Kat winds up at Castle Creighton to investigate what really happened there and to study the Radcliffe Curse. Now Kat is stuck on an island with a hurricane approaching and there’s no escaping the unbelievables.

I loved the way Castle Creighton’s creeptastic secrets unfolded throughout the story. This story had friendship, forgiveness, hope, secrets and betrayal. It also had love, lots of love. Now, you’ve heard of a love triangle, but have you ever heard of a love pentagon? As a bit of a summary of how a love pentagon works (and for the sake of not ruining who everyone is in love with, we won’t use their real names):

  • A is in love with B.
  • B is in love with C, is friends with A, is jealous of D, is using E to make D jealous.
  • C is marrying D but has history with and also still loves B.
  • D is marrying C but has history with E.
  • E still wants D but is having fun with B, is using B to make D jealous.

Did you get all of that?

Beginning The Girl Who Saved Ghosts immediately! I would’ve gone mental waiting for the sequel if I’d read The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts when it was first published.

Tip to readers: Make sure you have the sequel on hand when you finish this book. While a lot of plot lines are wrapped up other questions are raised and you’re not going to want to wait to find out what happens next!

Content warnings include sexual assault.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Beckett Publishing Group for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Kat Preston doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not because she’s never seen one, but because she saw one too many. Refusing to believe is the only way to protect herself from the ghost that tried to steal her life. Kat’s disbelief keeps her safe until her junior year at McTernan Academy, when a research project for an eccentric teacher takes her to a tiny, private island off the coast of Connecticut. 

The site of a grisly mystery, the Isle of Acacia is no place for a girl who ignores ghosts, but the ghosts leave Kat little choice. Accompanied by her research partner, Evan Kingsley, she investigates the disappearance of Cassie Mallory and Sebastian Radcliffe on their wedding night in 1886. Evan’s scientific approach to everything leaves Kat on her own to confront a host of unbelievables: ancestral curses, powerful spells, and her strange connection to the ghosts that haunt Castle Creighton. 

But that’s all before Kat’s yanked through a magic portal and Evan follows her. When the two of them awaken 129 years in the past with their souls trapped inside the bodies of two wedding guests, everything changes. Together, Kat and Evan race to stop the wedding-night murders and find a way back to their own time — and their own bodies — before their souls slip away forever.