The Ungrateful Dead

By: Kelley Armstrong

Series: Otherworld

Book Number: 8.2

Star Rating:



Spoiler Disclaimer


Celebrity necromancer, Jaime Vegas is headlining a séance tour. During one of her shows, a disgruntled ghost appears to her and continues to follow her around afterward, nearly driving her crazy with his pestering. He wants her to open the coffin of his cousin who died in the same car accident, something she's not inclined to do. But with the help of a friend, Jaime finally relents, only to find something unexpected when she does as the ghost asks.


"The Ungrateful Dead" is a short story in Kelly Armstrong's Otherworld series. It features celebrity necromancer, Jaime Vegas, who I gather is a main character in the series. She's headlining a successful séance tour, and during one of her shows a ghost with a bone to pick appears to her. A privileged young man in his mortal life, his entitlement shows through as he continuously pesters her to go open the coffin of his cousin who died in the same accident. With the help of her friend Savannah (another main character in the series), Jaime eventually does as the ghost bids with unexpected results.

This is the first time I've read anything by Kelly Armstrong. I was aware of her Otherworld series and I'm not usually one to read books out of order. But since the series hadn't yet jumped out at me as something I would really enjoy, I decided to try this short to get a taste for the author's writing style. I did generally enjoy it. It has a humorous quality that I found rather amusing. The writing was good and the story stood fairly well on its own. However, in some ways, not having prior knowledge of the characters and story lines was a bit of a detractor for me. As I mentioned Jaime and Savannah were apparently introduced in earlier stories of the series, and there's a lot of name-dropping going on of other characters who appear to be main players as well. I didn't entirely feel lost, but at the same time, I was kind of in the dark as to who the characters were and their relationships to one another. While "The Ungrateful Dead" was pretty good for a short story and I did derive some enjoyment from it, I can't necessarily say that it inspired me to want to read more of the series. "The Ungrateful Dead" can be found in the anthology Blood Lite.


Kelly Armstrong