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The Ghosts of Minera Springs tells a charming story of friendship and young love, and how these beautiful tools can be used to become a better version of oneself. This work was delightful to read and told a tender story I will not soon forget. Charles Franklin created well-composed characters with clear feelings, desires, and fears. Franklin did a particularly wonderful job balancing the age of the young characters with the decision-making they display when forced into adult situations. Even the adult supporting characters are displayed to us with naïve, but acute observations that signify a certain distinction between the narrators and the adults around them. It’s a delicate balance that Franklin maintains masterfully (shoutout to his developmental editor as well).
Charles Franklin developed the romantic subplot between childhood friends Riley and Tobi with wonderful pacing. One of Riley’s first observations upon meeting Tobi was that she had angelic beauty and was subject to the whims of inconsistent parents just like himself. This commonality forms the strong foundation upon which their friendship is crafted. Their connection evolves naturally with a sense of safety as they each display moments of vulnerability, from unearthing deep-rooted pain to sharing their fears to enjoying each other’s quirks and oddities. Tobi and Riley use the strength of their connection to adventure and explore places connected to the community’s unsettling lore. My favorite aspect of this wholesome romance is the way the relationship slowly builds with gradual escalations in conflict and affection.
The different points of conflict throughout The Ghosts of Minera Springs fit into the parameters of the story smoothly with little need for additional exposition and without plot holes. The protagonists’ lives are laden with conflict early, which colors their perspective on problem-solving and their reactions to the various trouble they fall into. In addition to my appreciation for Franklin’s character development, I thoroughly enjoyed the balance between the paranormal aspects of the story with the reality presented in chapter one.
The quote below encapsulates what I enjoyed most about reading “The Ghosts of Minera Springs”
“As we walked over the bridge, I felt my heart race faster and faster. My legs felt rubbery, and when my feet hit the ground, it felt like there was nothing beneath me. I wondered if Riley and Wes had been wrong. What if that old troll didn’t live under our bridge? What if he lived under this one? I may not have felt that bridge under my feet, but I could hear the squeaking of the old boards as we crossed. The old thing groaned like it was tired of helping folks over.”The Ghosts of Minera Springs by Charles Franklin
In conclusion, The Ghosts of Minera Springs by Charles Franklin is a delightful and unforgettable tale that beautifully explores the transformative power of friendship and young love. Franklin’s exceptional talent for character development shines through, as he crafts well-composed characters with genuine emotions, desires, and fears. The romantic subplot between childhood friends Riley and Tobi is expertly paced, with their shared vulnerabilities and evolving connection adding a sense of safety and authenticity to their relationship. The slow-building nature of their romance, characterized by gradual escalations in conflict and affection, could captivate the hearts of other romance readers.
The seamless integration of various conflicts into the story without plot holes or excessive exposition is a testament to Franklin’s storytelling prowess. Additionally, the balance between the paranormal elements and the grounded reality in the opening chapter enhances the overall reading experience. Through vivid imagery and evocative language, Franklin brings the world of Minera Springs to life, making it a place readers won’t want to leave. “The Ghosts of Minera Springs” is a tender and enchanting journey that leaves a lasting impression and I look forward to experiencing more stories with these characters.
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