Kate’s Review: “Ghosted in L.A. (Vol.3)”

Book: “Ghosted in L.A. (Vol.3)” by Sina Grace & Siobhan Keenan (Ill.)

Publishing Info: BOOM!Box, December 2020

Where Did I Get This Book: I own it.

Book Description: The critically-acclaimed series concludes as Daphne Walters must confront her former roommate Michelle, discover the mystery of just who’s behind that basement door and decide her entire future – this should be totally easy, right?

CRAZY, SUPERNATURAL, LOVE.

Daphne Walters’ life is complicated enough, living at Rycroft Manor with her ghostly friends and trying to figure out why everyone in LA is always 30 minutes late for everything important. So it’s TOTALLY the perfect time for Daphne to lose one of her friends, for the mystery of the ghost behind the basement door to be revealed and for Daphne to decide her entire future, RIGHT? And did we forget to mention that Daphne’s former roommate Michelle just unveiled a scheme to exorcise the friendly ghosts from Rycroft? Yeah, there’s that too.

GLAAD Award-nominated Sina Grace (Iceman) and illustrator Siobhan Keenan (Jem and the Holograms) conclude the acclaimed series that proves true love and friendship never dies!

Review: We find ourselves once again coming to the end of a series, and this time we are saying goodbye to the living and the dead at Rycroft Manor. “Ghosted in L.A.” is a very different beast from “The Sandman”, the other big conclusion in graphics I’ve had as of late, but one of the charms was its simplicity and heart that is content to just be a fun, funny urban fantasy. But that said, even something light and airy still needs to have due diligence done if it wants to end well. And, unfortunately, “Ghosted in L.A. (Vol.3)”, the last volume of the series, stumbles.

We’ll start with the good. As someone who found herself invested in Daphne, Ronnie, and the ghosts of Rycroft Manor, I was mostly happy with how things turned out for all of them. I thought that Daphne’s arc, from aimless young adult to competent ghost friend and in general friend, was well done and realistic within what we know about the character. I liked seeing how she changed and adapted her relationships with her ex boyfriend Ronnie, and how she grows after living with the spirits at Rycroft Manor and learning from them. In terms of how her arc ends, and how the arc of the ghosts and Ronnie and everything else ends, I enjoyed the trajectory and found it to be funny, sweet, and just a nice ending to a nice series. I also appreciated that we did get SOME glimpse into Daphne’s roommate Michelle’s background, as she has mostly been a surly and grumpy foil who is very religious up until this point. This volume tries to show a little bit more to her, and I like that there was some context for her behaviour.

But here is the problem with everything getting wrapped up right now, albeit in a mostly satisfying kind of way. There is SO MUCH GROUND to cover, from plot points to character growth to relationship strife to general conclusions and climaxes, that cramming it all together in this one volume feels stuffed, rushed, and haphazard. Like, what all happened in the last volume that needed to be resolved? Let’s see: Daphne and Kristi had a huge fight; Zola is creating tension in the house; a strange door has started causing issues in the house; Ronnie is feeling caught between his human friends and his ghostly ones; Michelle is starting to get suspicious. That’s just to name a few. I don’t know if this series was cancelled early (as we’ve seen in other graphics reviews on this blog), or if it was always planned to end like this, but “Ghosted in L.A. (Vol. 3)” needs to pull together a lot in just one volume, and it suffers for it. What could have been drawn out mysteries and plot points (specifically the mystery of what is going on behind the mysterious door) end up being explained and solved nearly in succession, which completely undercuts the tension and impact of the story. We also find ourselves a bit cheated out of really getting to know some of the ghosts at Rycroft, as characters like Ricky and Pam are waylaid in favor of Zola since she is now a love interest for Daphne (also thrown together I might add). New conflict is tied up way too fast, and character exploration isn’t given its due. It was supremely disappointing, as I felt like this series has a lot of potential to dig into interesting things, especially given the ghost roster. I don’t want to take off too many points for this kind of thing, as perhaps this was all a bit of a surprise and things just had to be concluded on a shorter timeline. But it definitely made this the weakest of the three volumes.

But the artwork by Siobhan Keenan is still utterly charming. Along with the same designs that we’ve seen in the series, we dabble a bit more into some horror moments in this volume, which are reflected well in the drawings themselves.

I still think that “Ghosted in L.A.” as a whole is worth checking out if you like some lighter ghostly fare. It has humor, an inclusive cast, and a lot of heart. The end may be a bit of a stumble, but the sum of it’s parts is enjoyable.

Rating 6: A mostly satisfying end to the series, though it feels rushed and thrown together.

Reader’s Advisory:

“Ghosted in L.A. (Vol.3)” isn’t on any Goodreads lists as of yet, but it would fit in on  “Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Set in California”.

Find “Ghosted in L.A. (Vol.3)” at your library using WorldCat, or at a local independent bookstore using IndieBound!

Previously Reviewed:

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