Review #184 // Spirit Hunters (Spirit Hunters #1) – Ellen Oh

Spirit Hunters

The Raine family moves from New York to the DC area after their middle child, Harper, experiences traumatic accidents that shock the area. Their new house is bigger than their old apartment, but the house was also well-known in the area for being…haunted.

Why this book?: I just got a Scribd subscription, and I found this one on it. I love paranormal stories with ghosts, so I’ve been dying to read this one since I’ve heard about it.

I’ve been on a paranormal kick for a little bit now, and I’ve been looking for this book foreverWhen I first heard of Spirit Hunters, I knew I needed to read it. That cover, combined with the author (of whom I’d never read before, but had heard many amazing things. Plus she’s just an amazing person for founding We Need Diverse Books!) just told me that this was a read I just couldn’t miss. Now that I’ve finally read it, I can definitely say that I stand by those early thoughts.

Ellen Oh created a unique, yet relatable family in the Raines. You got to know the entire family, when in most books you meet the outlines of the other family members at most. It was refreshing to read, because it seems like there’s a rulebook authors follow when writing familys. Sisters hate the brothers, the father is mostly absent, the mother is loving yet distant. This was different. The sister was difficult but still loving, and the younger brother was an adorable kid that even I would have my heart melted by. You were actually concerned about the family, and understood their reasonings and who they were, instead of just getting a cardboard copy of a parent/sibling. And the family actually ended up being a big portion of this book, which is also understated in a lot of books. It’s always the friends (which isn’t bad) that get the spotlight in books–but we get to know all of the characters as a person.

Another piece of the story that I really liked was the investigation. It’s something that I enjoyed reading about when I read Lockwood & Co. because you got to understand the reason the ghost was still around, as well as get an additional short story with the one you were reading. We got pieces of that here too. It gave background to the story, as well as thorough creepiness for any middle grade reader looking for it.

There was really only one thing that I was disappointed with. Even though I loved the little twist at the end, it really wasn’t much of a twist. I saw it coming after a while, and then after that the story we resolved fairly quickly. I just felt like a little more thought could have gone into the development of the ending, because it went by so fast–faster than the rest of the book.

Final Rating: ★★★★☆


I really enjoyed this book, and am looking forward to reading the second one, The Island of Monsters. I hope that more development goes into the ‘spirit hunter’ aspect, as that was one of the parts that was kind of glossed over in the end. I hope we get to see more of Harper’s Korean heritage, which we saw pieces here and there of in Spirit Hunters. Overall, though, Spirit Hunters was an amazing book…

Would I Recommend?

…and a book that I would definitely recommend. Like I said, it’s perfect for the middle grade genre it was written for, but it was also fun for me to read it. I loved the development for the ghost aspect, even if the spirit hunter part could have been differently. Either way, I can’t wait for more of these books to come out.

Spirit Hunters

Additional Information:

Published: July 25th, 2017

Publisher: HarperCollins

Page Count: 288

Genre: Middle Grade/Paranormal/Fantasy

Synopsis: via Goodreads

We Need Diverse Books founder Ellen Oh returns with Spirit Hunters, a high-stakes middle grade mystery series about Harper Raine, the new seventh grader in town who must face down the dangerous ghosts haunting her younger brother. A riveting ghost story and captivating adventure, this tale will have you guessing at every turn!

Harper doesn’t trust her new home from the moment she steps inside, and the rumors are that the Raine family’s new house is haunted. Harper isn’t sure she believes those rumors, until her younger brother, Michael, starts acting strangely. The whole atmosphere gives Harper a sense of déjà vu, but she can’t remember why. She knows that the memories she’s blocking will help make sense of her brother’s behavior and the strange and threatening sensations she feels in this house, but will she be able to put the pieces together in time?

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