Jeremy Chikalto and The Hazy Souls is an entertaining read by T.S. DeBrosse. It centers on Jeremy Chikalto, the “Cajjez,” or prince, of the distant planet, Watico. Jeremy has an incredible power: he has the ability to look into the Haze, which is the place souls pass through when they die. It is in the Haze that an angel sends Jeremy a message: Jeremy Chikalto must venture to Earth, a three year journey, to search for “Mantel”, a figure vying for power with God and the Devil. Could there be an alternate destination after death, besides Heaven or Hell? Jeremy’s friend, Maren, is unwillingly swept up in the mix with Jeremy as he struggles to determine the fine line between right and wrong.
T.S. DeBrosse establishes strong characters with equally strong personalities. The main character, Jeremy, is arrogant and insecure while his best friend, Maren, is kind, although somewhat timid. The conflicting personalities kept me on my toes, although most of the time I couldn’t stand to listen to Jeremy’s relentless whining. When a book has a decidedly frustrating main character, it tends to make the book something of a burden to read. It is harder to feel excited about the characters’ breakthroughs and harder to feel a sense of connection to them. This book is no exception. Despite that fact, I found this novel still engaging and pleasurable to read.
Another point about the characters in Jeremy Chikalto and the Hazy Souls is that they are extremely stereotypical. The only main difference is that the typical personality for the antagonist is used for the protagonist.
Although the theme is original and unexpected, it would be strengthened by adding more emotion into the characters’ actions. The characters have mood swings with no explanation, which makes the plot confusing at points. For instance, at one point Jeremy is admiring himself in the mirror and saying how handsome he is, and then he starts to cry out of the blue. And some emotions are not deep enough for what the characters should be feeling after what they go through.
I have mixed feelings about this novel. The plot is well developed, although I felt that the climax comes too late in the read to keep me excited. Some scenes stretch on too long, while others rush by.
The ending is a slight disappointment. The characters do not seem to have developed at all, and the novel ends sharply without much completion. The cliffhanger ending left me needing to read the next book in the series, though—I am interested for more!
Morgan Smith is a 13 year old living with her family and cat, Holly, in a small house in Pennsylvania. She loves pretty much every genre of books, from cheesy romance novels to dry nonfiction stories, but her favorite books are historical fiction. She has loved to write and read for as long as she can remember, and she also loves to swim, sew, cook, and so much more.