Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Bob Kat, for an honest review.
Genre: Young Adult/Fiction/Adventure/Mystery
Plot: You don’t have to believe in ghosts…until you meet one.
Once again Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey are listening to the Spirit Radio when they hear a cry for help from a mother whose four-year-old daughter, Emma went missing in the middle of a busy lobby at the infamous Stanley Hotel. But time traveling back to 1911 is a lot more complicated than the three trips they had taken earlier in the summer. They have to find appropriate clothes and figure out a way to pay for their stay. When they hear about a tragic fire that hurt several hotel employees, the teens take advantage of the hotel’s desperation and get jobs working as lady’s maids and houseboys so they can keep an eye on Emma and her family.
Even though they know that The Stanley Hotel is possibly the most haunted place in the U.S., the four teenagers are a little creeped out when they hear ghostly children running in the halls, singing songs and even a mysterious ball that keeps showing up in their room. How could a hotel that is only two years old already be haunted? Most importantly, how can they stop Emma from becoming one of the ghosts that are trapped inside the luxurious hotel?
Midway through their first summer together, they celebrate the Fourth of July twice in one year. As they try to figure out the mystery of Emma’s disappearance, they bump into some famous people and experience several historical events. But ultimately, it’s their trust in each other and the friendship that has been forged by two unique experiences no one else on the planet has ever done…talk with dead people and time travel to the past. Their first trip back to 1966 had stopped the murder of a teenager from their school. Their next trip to 1980 had tested their courage as they were brought face-to-face with a man who was determined to murder an entire family. Their last trip to 1927 had saved the life of a handsome young man who had run away to a traveling circus. Zoey, the former mean girl of South Beach High School, suffered her first heartbreak by falling in love with a man from the wrong century.
Back in 1911 there are no TV news crawlers or Amber Alerts like we see along the interstate highways today. Instead, Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey must try to be in the right place at the right time to stop the tragedy of Emma’s disappearance from happening. They follow her and her family around while enjoying life among the rich and famous. They arrive as skeptics, but leave as believers when all four teens have ghostly encounters. Kelly and Austin grow closer as they share fireworks shows, first on the sand in Fort Myers Beach and second on a blanket in the Rocky Mountains. But is their romance doomed almost as soon as it began?
When their plans go wrong, they face their first defeat. The same danger that takes Emma now threatens the teens when one of their own is captured in a killer’s web. Will they be able to save Emma? Or will they join her as permanent guests in the ghostly halls of The Stanley Hotel?
Opinion: This is book 4 in the CUL8R series, and definitely my favorite one so far. I don’t know if it’s because of the paranormal themes, because it is set in the early 1900’s, or because our characters travel back in time to solve a mystery at a famous hotel…but MY OH MY did I read through this book like crazy.
In book 4, our group of time travelers decide to risk their lives again in the hopes of saving another life. After hearing the voice of a woman pleading for her child to be found over their Spirit Radio, the teens find themselves traveling through time to 1911 to help a young girl named Emma at the famous Stanley Hotel. As the four work hard to make sure Emma doesn’t fall into the same fate as before, they each ensure to keep a close watch on her and her mother and grandfather. But soon, things start to turn out not quite as they seem. They start to hear voices of children playing in the halls, when they were told that Emma is the only child currently staying at the hotel, as well as things being moved. Things start to get much more complicated for the four teenagers, and things turn out to be much trickier than they originally expected.
I personally LOVE a book that centers on a paranormal mystery, and especially one that is set in a hotel, so this book was perfect for me. Oddly enough, I am a big fan of hotels, call me weird but I am. If you told me I could stay in hotel after hotel every night, traveling all over the world (and all over different time eras) well…you know I would. But when you really think about it, a hotel is a really creepy and disturbing kind of place to stay at night. Countless people stay in the same rooms, sleep on the same mattresses, and use the same tub and showers. EW! Let’s all agree to refuse to think about that. ANYWAYS, the idea of a book intertwining paranormal activity (no, not the movie) with time traveling teens who need to solve the disappearance of a little girl at a hotel in 1911, is perfect. As this is now the fourth time Kelly, Scott, Austin, and Zoey have traveled through time together, they have mastered how to blend into their new eras with finesse. In this installment, the four teens are dropped into a time where the women dress in corsets and their finest dresses for dinner and barely anyone knows how to drive a vehicle. I found it very enjoyable to have Zoey and Kelly working as handmaidens in the hotel, but also how the author’s managed to work quite a few historical characters into this story.
Not only did the authors do research into this hotel for their story, but they actually went with Ghost Hunters Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson to the hotel and stayed there. The Ghost Hunters had previously gone to The Stanley Hotel for their television show, as many people have claimed to see spirits or paranormal sightings in the hotel rooms or halls. This hotel also is the basis for Stephen King’s story The Shining, and Stephen King also claims to have seen a small boy calling for his nanny at the hotel. As a reader, I really appreciated the authors going the extra mile to tie actual claims into their book. In Rest In Peace, Scott and Austin tell the girls that every night their room starts to smell of cherry pipe tobacco, which is also a real claim that has been made about the hotel. I found it very fascinating to find out that there were so many links between this story and actual claims, and I even found myself doing more research into the hotel.
Finally, I must address the situation between Austin and Kelly. I am all for making readers wait to know what will happen when it comes to “who done it’s” or end of the world fiascoes, but these guys are killing me here!! Just when the authors start to give you a little insight to something between Kelly and Austin, and everything seems to be going wonderfully, WHAM!! Blindsides and cliffhangers. Oh, this is torturous. Due to my being VISIBLY distraught with needing to read book 5, I messaged “part” author of the series Kathy Clark and she explained to me that book 5 will hopefully be released in 2016. So yes, we must wait but I think it will be highly worth it. Once again guys, please please PLEASE go and give this series a chance. It is full of adventure, humor, and amazing situations that the main characters get themselves into. Time traveling teenagers, what’s not to love?