As a psychic, Eva is over the moon with her new job at the Kalbrandt Institute. But as she delves deeper into the Institute’s archives, Eva soon realises that she has stumbled onto dark secrets from which she may never escape…
Five ghost stories across time and space are tied together by Eva’s research as she discovers the secrets that the Institute seeks to protect.– Goodreads Synopsis
The Kalbrandt Institute Archives Review
The Kalbrandt Institute Archives, Book 1: Hauntings, is a wonderfully written work by Chris Chesler that hooked me immediately. Eva, the main character, serves as a vehicle for Chesler to tell 5 ghost stories that are all unique and interesting. While I do not think this is an approach that could work again in this series (I’m assuming series as this is “Book 1”), it was very effective as a one time tactic.
I don’t want to give too much a way, so I’ll just say that the first story was unusual in its resolution, the second one was a take on a traditional haunting, the third had me imagining a demonic Mrs. Potts and Chip from Beauty and the Beast and unexpectedly filled me with compassion, the fourth was set in a very familiar setting that basically anyone over the age of 7 will recognize (though it was truthfully my least favorite of the bunch), and the fifth will leave you going “I knew something was off! I KNEW IT!”
These stories are also what I would consider ‘clean’, as there was no mention of sex, drug, or alcohol abuse. There might have been a couple foul words (though none that I can recall off the top of my head) but certainly nothing outrageous or in excess. There were a couple of possibly squicky scenes (if you have a very weak stomach), but nothing that even came possibly close to approaching gory.
Overall, this was a fantastic read that put short stories together in a form that held my interest, and I definitely look forward to reading more from this author. Hopefully that whetted your interest, and I highly recommend getting this book!