Ninth Key by Meg Cabot: B

From the back cover:
Mediator Susannah Simon is a go-between for ghosts and the living. No hand-holder, this teenager is tough on the spirits who need her help. When the ghost of a murdered woman wakes Suze up one night to insist that she deliver a strange message, the 16-year-old just wants to get rid of her. But the ghost won’t give up.

Soon Suze is looking for a wealthy man called Red, who has an aversion to sunlight. When she finally meets him, he keeps staring at her neck, and Suze sees big trouble. Although he’s the father of the hottest boy in her class, he just might be a vampire.

I didn’t like this as much as Shadowland. Suze wasn’t as amusing and snarky. Instead, she suddenly became obsessed with her lack of a boyfriend and we got a lot more info on the topic of boys and the state of their abs.

As an additional bonus, there was an extremely irritating and stupid continuity error! Suze mentioned a couple times that no boy has ever asked her out. Except one just did in the last book, which took place a mere week before! I think Meg Cabot cranks out too many books to actually remember the specifics of what happened in each one.

The plot was more ambitious this time, and included a couple of twists I didn’t expect. These would’ve been more successful if the outcomes of the twists hadn’t been immediately obvious to me. I also couldn’t help from wanting to superimpose Buffy arcs upon this story, like Suze letting her friends in on the secret, or becoming more serious about her job.

All of these things aside, it was still pretty good and was a quick read. At least I still liked all of the Suze/Jesse interaction. Perhaps this is just a sophomore slump and the others in the series will be better.

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