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Writer of dark urban fantasy and high action.
on Feb. 26, 2013 :
Roman, oh Roman! Shew! Strong silent type is epitomized brilliantly by the way this author captured Roman's enigmatic character. The mystery boy with a brutal secret is magnetic Wow, so many secrets, a twist I could never anticipate, and just freaking incredible writing.
When I started reading I was highlighting phrasing I loved and stopped after a few pages realizing I'd be highlighting the entire book, page after page. 'suburbia potholed with compromise', eyes the color of penance' etc. I absolutely devoured this novel. The writing was so crisp and succinct, the descriptions enough to bleed darkness into my fingertips and riveting to such a degree that I stayed up all night reading this. Fatigue never set in, I just read and read for ten hours straight and when I closed the last page I NEEDED more, I wanted so much more.
The plot is complete, I'm just a glutton for wanting more of this charismatic boy-man and his shimmering black love.
Basically the story starts off with the death of a mother (if you can call her that). Oh how I related to the narcissistic misery that was her mother. Shipped off to live with a father she doesn't know and an older brother who is Mister combat with a capital C (Tony is also a soul you'd like to see more of), when he deploys the night she gets 'home' leaving TJ alone with a stranger and Tony's shrapnel scarred girlfriend.
And then it gets good! Holy moly! At first I wondered if it was YA, but it's not. The main characters may be 16 and 17 respectively but the mine is a central character, adult issues and worries are all over this plot, and there is a brother/uncle/priest who is carrying keys to phenomenon I'm positive he knows more about but isn't telling. Brutal murders, disappearances, weird lights, mines collapsing, Roman trying to kill himself on that matte black bike in hell's wrathiest storm, and love so raw and brutal it plucks pieces out of yours in meaty bloody chunks, leaving a trail of spatter for the next 'secret' to find.
Lordy I loved this book! 150 out of 5 stars! I really REALLY want more!!
To the author, you write shadows with such an incredible pastel, you bring them to life, making the darkness writhe over gravel, filling me with tense trepidation, and I was ready to run down those stairs and into the trees to see who he was and why he was so foreboding!
I was inside this novel so realistically I could see and smell everything. I felt like I was IN that house with the curtains whispering with the silky touch of the midnight dream. WOW!!!
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Feb. 24, 2013 :
At first I wasn't really sure what to think about this book, the story absolutely floored me. I was never quite sure where it was going, but was very willing to keep reading to figure it all out. The electricity between Roman and TJ is so immediate you just “feel” that there is more than meets the eye there. The trouble being TJ promised her brother Tony to stay away from Roman. Add in TJ's mom has died, and she is being moved in with a dad she hasn't seen since she was five. From a wealthy life to an impoverished one, TJ must make a lot of changes.
I most certainly never expected the twists and turns this book took, it took my breath away and left me filled with absolute admiration for Kennedy Streath. The style this book was written in was also new to me, I must say I truly enjoyed it, it's almost a rough and gritty form of story telling. I look forward to the next book, you have made a fan for life! Many thanks for gifting me this ebook so I could read and review it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
Greta van der Rol
on Dec. 16, 2012 :
This book starts off with a fairly routine YA premise – a sixteen year old girl (TJ) finding herself dumped on her estranged father when the mother she despises dies. Coming from a wealthy, upmarket life style and a private school, she's faced with a new life in an impoverished, dying mining town where Latinos do what they can to survive. The longed-for college sporting scholarship is no longer an option in a school which doesn't (can't) support women's sport. TJ's brother, Tony, the only person who cares about her, the closest to a father she has ever known, is a serving soldier due to return to active service, leaving her to cope on her own. Before he goes, he makes her promise to keep away from Roman, a young man working for her father.
It's obvious TJ isn't going to keep away from Roman. But many things about this novel are not obvious. TJ's father, Ben, has his own demons tormenting him with deep levels of guilt at not taking in his daughter when he and his wife divorced. TJ's deceased mother is an invisible participant, sitting on the sidelines, mocking TJ and Ben. Ben's cousin, Marcus, is a Roman Catholic priest who delves into ancient scrolls. Tony's girlfriend, Marsha, is a scarred veteran of the Iraq war.
And then there's Roman. He's described as a seventeen year old juvenile delinquent who is sent to live with Ben as a form of rehabilitation. From the outset it's obvious he is dark and dangerous. But how dangerous? And who to? He arrived in Montville not long after a series of mysterious events that are still spoken about in whispers, accused of bashing a man near to death.
In a way this is the usual YA coming of age story, but it is so much more. There's a thread of dark fantasy – or call it myth - which begins as a hint, then coalesces in the latter part of the book and brings it to a thumping, heart-stopping climax. It's a book about love, acceptance, sacrifice and redemption on many different levels.
The characters are all well-developed, real people with pasts and futures and reasons. Only the mother's motives are not crystal clear. But then, that's life, isn't it, and she is dead.
The writing is sensual and evocative. You spend a lot of time absorbing atmosphere, feeling events. This is no skim read. You have to pay attention or you'll miss things. Perhaps that is my only criticism. I occasionally lost my place as it were, since the narrative might skip from the present to a past conversation or reminiscence in the character's head. The description is rich and real. I particularly liked the detail. You can see the town, the garage, the metal stairs up to Roman's apartment. The author talks about motorcycles, a dying Pennsylvania town, living on a mountain road in the woods and coal mining, just to name a few, with authority which lends authenticity.
I really enjoyed this book. My YA days are far behind me and it would be sad to imagine that this is just a story for 'teens'. It's not. I give it *****.
(reviewed the day of purchase)