Great setting and entertaining plot, but the storytelling felt loose, jumbled, and confusing. The characters could also use more development...more2.5 stars
Great setting and entertaining plot, but the storytelling felt loose, jumbled, and confusing. The characters could also use more development, there were stirrings of an unnecessary love triangle, and the dialogue was painfully stilted at times. Still, the author creates a compelling atmosphere and there were enough interesting scenes to keep me going. This debut feels like it could have been something solid with a few more drafts, so I'll leave the door open for trying another book by this author down the road.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.(less)
Hm. I'm not sure about this rating yet; the book started out pretty strong, but after awhile, there were too many logic gaps and convoluted scenarios....moreHm. I'm not sure about this rating yet; the book started out pretty strong, but after awhile, there were too many logic gaps and convoluted scenarios. It's disappointing to find that what was an interesting psychological thriller (which I thought would have an extremely unusual answer to its mystery) turned out to be a pretty typical, and predictable, thriller after all.
* the concept * some fun action sequences * a scary imaginary friend name...more3.5 stars? 2 stars? I don't know.
There were some great things about this book:
* the concept * some fun action sequences * a scary imaginary friend named Rachel * the unexpected depth of the scenes with her stepmother * an intriguing ending
some ho-hum things:
* okay-but-not-spectacular hero and heroine * instalove * muddled, predictable FBI shenanigans * not a whole lot of depth or intricacy to the plot or characters
and some bordering-on-distasteful things:
* some violence later in the book (view spoiler)[involving her dad (hide spoiler)], which I thought crossed the line a little. I love great action scenes as much as the next person, but I was turned off by some of the ones (view spoiler)[involving Rachel punishing an adult, a finger blown off that shows the bone poking through (hide spoiler)], etc., etc. Mostly because they felt like they were done for shock value, without the physical or emotional consequences that should follow.
but most of all, I think I just couldn't get over what Jesse's imaginary creature was. It's revealed a few chapters in, but in the interests of not spoiling it at all, I'll hide it here. (view spoiler)[It's a dragon. A DRAGON! Which felt so out of place in a book that doesn't have any other mythological or fanciful touches. (hide spoiler)] It's pretty much the equivalent of having a dinosaur in the room that no one else can see. It would have been nice to at least have a sense of humor about the ridiculousness of this scenario, but unfortunately it was all serious business for just about all of the book.
I'm mildly curious about where the story will go in the next book, but I'll most likely wait to see what others have to say about it first...