Origins is the second book in the Jamis Bachman series and cannot be read as a standalone. It picks up not long after Jamis Bachman, Ghost Hunter ended, with Jamis travelling to the Arizona desert at the invitation of siblings who have inherited a house and some sort of demon as a package deal. Spirits, Jamis can deal with. After all, it’s her job, and the fact that, after years of struggling to communicate with ghosts, she now sees them everywhere should only help, right? But when a living person seems to be committing all kinds of murders linked to the house Jamis is investigating, all hell breaks loose.
As you probably guessed from the title, as she investigates the mysterious and terrifying 19th-century woman pulling the strings from the hereafter, Jamis will uncover information on herself and her origins.
As she says herself, Jamis is a lot of work. But she’s also very lovable. She’s driven and strives to do the right thing. There’s no romance in this book, Jamis and Johnna spend almost the whole story separated but it only helps their relationship to grow, get stronger. I wish Jamis and Johnna had spent more time together, I’m very willing to believe in their chemistry but it would have been nice to be able to witness it directly.
I also would have liked a little more interactions between Jamis and Sapphire. With this one, it feels like we got the chance to see Jamis on her own, in a way, even if she’s almost never alone. She really is the centre of the story and the only main character, unless you count the ghost.
All this gives this book a transitional feel. I’m looking forward to the next book and to, maybe, a less skittish, more settled Jamis. Not settled as in boring, settled as in more in control.
Most of the issues I had with the writing in the first Jamis Bachman book are gone, it flows much more easily and there’s a dry and sometimes goofy sense of humour I love. The atmosphere is eerie and unsettling, with just the right dose of wit and perfectly timed humour to stop it from being terrifying (I’m a chicken, I’m not looking to be scared).