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Ghoster by Jason Arnopp - Review

Tuesday, February 8, 2022


I got this book in my subscription box from A Box of Stories in November or something, and I'm determined to read those books before cancelling my subscription, so I picked this up. I was intrigued by the premise so had pretty high hopes for this. But, although I found it compelling and wanted to keep reading, I felt like the ending did not justify the rest of the book and I got no closure from it, so my rating is three out of five. I also felt like the author was trying to make too much of a point about smartphone addiction, in quite a preachy way, and in a way that I didn't like at all.

Anyway, at the beginning of the book, Kate is a paramedic in Leeds. She is on a job with her partner Izzy when Izzy falls down the stairs, severely damaging one leg. This happens because Kate is distracted by her phone, checking up on a man who has screwed her around. Kate is so shocked and guilty that she gets rid of her smartphone and gets an ancient Nokia instead, where she can't access the internet. Before this happened, she sent a Super-Like to a man called Scott on Tinder, but gets no reply or Like back from him. 

Then she goes to Wales and does a digital detox, and while there she meets Scott in person. The two start a relationship, which the reader sees in flashback. Back in September of the year, Kate is moving to Brighton to live with Scott. She's got a job there, but two days before she's due to move, Scott ghosts her. He stops replying to texts and calls. All her stuff is packed up so she decides to just set off to Brighton. 

Scott doesn't answer the answer phone, but she finally manages to get into the building and into Scott's flat. She finds it completely empty of all his belongings. Has he done a runner and completely ghosted her? She finds strange gouges on the inside of the door, too, leaving neat little piles of wood chips behind. She makes herself a camp in the living room, and just as she's falling asleep she sees a weird blue light in the corner of the room. 

The next day she finds Scott's phone on the balcony of the flat, and finally manages to get into it. She finds some truly weird stuff and it becomes clear she didn't know Scott at all. But is he dead or alive? And what has happened to him?

This was like at least half the book and I liked it, but then there are supernatural elements which put me off. And then it just went on and on and on, I honestly thought the book was going to end about four times and it just didn't. As I said, I didn't like the ending or the preachy notes, and probably wouldn't bother with something from the same author. 

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