Jessica's Reviews > Dissolve

Dissolve by Andrea Heltsley
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Aug 31, 12

Read from August 29 to 31, 2012

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for my honest review.

Cora, the main character of Andrea Heltsley's Dissolve, had the type of life that would make anyone jealous. She had a loving mother, a great best friend, and was preparing to marry the man of her dreams. Then suddenly, after a night on the town, everything turns upside down. She awakes to find her fiance, Tom, lying in a puddle of blood and a strange, new super power to control: she can dissolve into thin air! Now Cora and her best friend, Nessa, must leave town to ensure their own freedom and search for some much needed answers.

The very first thing to catch my eye was the beautiful cover art. The jewel-blue tones and whimsical feel drew me in immediately. This coupled with the product description, left me expecting a story jam-packed with action, magic and mythical creatures. As I read, I discovered that the story itself was less about magic and mythical creatures and more about chemical warfare and unknown adversaries. The plot was unique and though it wasn't quite what I was expecting I enjoyed the story enough to continue reading. I've never been one to turn down a good mystery and there were just so many questions I was looking forward to having answered.

The characters were likable enough, though I felt as though I didn't really know them that well. Some of their dialogue seemed a bit stilted and unnatural and I couldn't fathom their calm reactions to some of the horrors they witnessed. It just seemed a bit weird to me. I couldn't really identify with them. Maybe I'm just a scaredy-cat, but I think there are a lot of people who would have gone into flat-out hysterics after seeing the demise of thousands of people. It would have been refreshing if at least one person in the entire story had a breakdown, wept, gone catatonic, cried for their mommy... anything to show some real emotion, instead of the eerie calm acceptance they all showed.

As the story progressed, and the characters continued on their "road trip", I found several sections to be little more than filler. The author pays close attention to detail when describing the mostly unimportant trips to dive motels and dirty, run-down gas stations (and what was bought or pilfered), but when a major event takes place the details seem glossed over, hurried. In the midst of this, I waded through a myriad of grammatical mistakes and typos. This happens sometimes with even the most seasoned of writers (especially in Kindle editions), so I was prepared to overlook it. What bothered me the most though, was the fact that the author habitually switched between the past and present tense, sometimes in mid-sentence. I found this to be very distracting.

As the end grew nearer, I became increasingly worried: Was there still time enough to answer my questions? Or, at the very least, a couple of them? The answer, it turns out, was no. In the end I felt very dissatisfied. None of the loose ends had been tied up; everything was still as uncertain as it had been from the very beginning. I truly hope that the sequel gives readers the answers they're looking for.

Overall, despite all of its flaws, the story is a very imaginative one and I believe with the help of a good editor and a little polish, it could be great. Ms. Heltsley is quite talented and I hope she continues to write and hone her craft.
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