Rummanah Aasi
  I've been excited about reading Kim Harrington's debut novel Clarity for quite some time. The plot combination of a murder mystery along with the paranormal hooked me right away. While I enjoyed reading Clarity, I was a bit disappointed.

Description: Clarity "Clare" Fern is a member of a family with paranormal powers. Her mother is telepathic. Her brother, Perry, is a medium and Clare is a psychic. When a murder occurs during the height of the tourist season in Cape Cod, Clare is recruited to help the mayor and a skeptical detective find the killer. Clare has an additional incentive to find the murderer because Perry is a prime suspect. Is Perry the murderer? It is a coincidence that the murder occurred when it is very close to a mayoral election in Cape Cod?

Review: Clare Fern works in the family business doing psychic readings for summer tourists in their Cape Cod town. She has the ability to uncover memories and emotions by touching objects. Her mother is telepathic and her brother, Perry, is a medium. When a tourist girl is found murdered, Clare's assistance is sought by the police. Excited to use her powers to actually help people, Clare jumps at the opportunity. Unfortunately, also working on the case is her cheating ex-boyfriend and the hot son of the town's new detective who seems to be giving Clare mixed signals. To complicate things further, Clare discovers Perry is the prime suspect and two more people are killed. Clare must put her differences and complicated feelings about her ex-boyfriend and new comer aside as well as use all of her smarts and abilities to uncover the truth before she becomes the next victim.
  Clarity is a plot driven novel where the characterizations takes a back seat. There is no discussion where Clare or her family gets their powers nor any internal conflict of them having powers. They do their job in entertaining people and then call it a day. Clare, always known as a freak to her town members, isn't really that vested into the murder until it involves Perry, her older brother whom she adores. She manipulates and uses other people in order to get information about the murder and people's whereabouts. While there is a potential love triangle (come on, it's a YA novel what did you expect?), I didn't really care for either male leads. I also didn't feel any connection to Clare or in fact any of the characters. Perry's womanizing habits, which had the potential to be an interesting angle and a possible tie-in to an absent father, wasn't discussed and irritated me. Perhaps these elements that I felt lacking will be flushed out in the next book, Perception, which is due out March 2012.
  The murder mystery in Clarity is predictable and lacks intensity or creep factor found in other paranormal mysteries. Nonetheless, I did enjoy reading Clarity and look forward to reading the next book by Kim Harrington. I think it would a be a good choice for a beach read or for those who like a typical "who done it" mystery with a dash of paranormal and romance.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is allusion to sex, mention of underage drinking at a party, and some language. Recommended to Grades 8 and up.

If you like this book try: The Body Finder or Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting, Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson, or the Wake trilogy by Lisa McMann
5 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Awww sorry you didn't enjoy this one quite as much as I did! I liked Clare and the two boys - all their imperfections were interesting for me. I agree the characters could definitely have a little more depth, but maybe we'll get that in book 2. Nice review Rummanah, I love reading a differing opinion:)

  2. I liked it, Jenny, but didn't love it as much as "The Body Finder" or the "Wake" series. It's a nice read to pass the time.

  3. I sooo want to read this one! I've really been looking forward to it too!

  4. Daisy Says:

    I'm sorry it disappointed you! It's such a shame when you can't connect to the characters! Clare doesn't really sound likeable. I'll probably still read it, but maybe not as soon as I would have otherwise. Thanks for the review!

  5. How irritating that there isn't adequate character development. I'm okay with light character development when the plot is strong, but from what you say, there really isn't enough here.

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