|This is book twenty-four of the Tales of the Citadel series by Viola Grace. As I've said before, you don't have to have read them all or in order, but I really like the series so you should read them all. I also suggest reading Sector Guard stories if you haven't already... at least Freak Factor so you have an idea who one of the character's mentioned in the story is.
This story begins with Yohwen Dahl getting ready for the annual holiday on her planet where Haunts everywhere walk through cemeteries and bring up the departed so they can speak to, teach or just see their still living families. It would be creepy I guess, but Ms. Grace and Yoh handle it beautifully. Yoh's best friend happens to be her agent and her handler Niisa. By handler she isn't quite a baby-sitter but it's kinda like when a movie star comes in and has to have wardrobe, make-up and all the trappings to get by and Niisa takes care of all those things for Yoh. Arriving on the planet Wedderal to witness the Master Haunt at the opening celebration is a Citadel team. They were told the Master Haunt would be the only one who would be able to assist them on their mission. The team consists of Scorcher Orkill and Healer Debarren. Apparently another world with colonist species similar to Wedderal was wiped out by a disease and they need to know what happened since there are several more worlds made up of the species and at least one of them is beginning to get sick.
Alright, here's a little back story for Yoh and Niisa. Yoh's mother never married her father, for a variety of reasons, but he was such a jerk that he managed to make Yoh and her mother live in poverty and without family. Yoh never had friends growing up since her father made a point of publically calling her a bastard so all the kids took their cues from their parents who heard from him. Niisa is the only friend she really had growing up. The planet they go to on their mission is completely empty, everyone died due to epidemic. Scorchers and Scorcher Orkill have already been everywhere burning the dead and trying to kill of the disease. Yoh and Niisa are the ones in the most danger since the species of the planet they went to is similar to theirs. They do manage to do their jobs and Yoh has the dead lining up to speak with Citadel personnel to tell them what happened. There are so many dead lining up they send for more Sector Guard and Citadel reps to deal with them.
I have to say I wasn't really sure what Yoh would be doing on her mission so I thought I wouldn't like the story. Wrong! I loved Yoh's deceased grandmother Yinway, who basically just rocked! I loved how Orkill and Debarren weren't really sure when they arrived on Wedderal, but since it was Commander who sent them for the mission and maybe to get their mates, they are willing to see how things go. I loved how Orkill and Yoh were when they truly began to see each other for who they really are, and even when truth is told, Orkill will do anything he needs to keep Yoh happy, loved and protected. Ms. Grace gave us a truly wonderful tale!
Reviewer: Teresa T.