Wednesday, March 9, 2011

He Pulls Me Into The Storm Before I Can Say A Word

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author, Karen Metcalf, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

In The Storm

Abandoned by the world around her, Carly believes she is fated to a life of torment at the hands of her stepfather and is desperate for an escape. When she can bear the abuse no longer, she suddenly finds herself in an unfamiliar, yet beautiful, storm world. This limbo between dimensions appears to be her private sanctuary, but it may just be her purgatory.

No one escapes fate without sacrifice, but is the price more than Carly is willing to pay?

I won't lie, this was a bit hard to get into at first. You have a girl and her brother being tortured by their stepfather in a town where apparently no one cares. Definitely not puppies and sunshine, but surely things can only get better from here. Right? Well, yes and no...but I will say that I grew to enjoy the story much more as I went on.

There were some mechanics in this piece that didn't always work for me. The narration felt a bit robotic sometimes, too technical or specific—not how I picture a 16-year-old thinking. There were a lot of "this/that" instead of spelling it out or separating with dashes. And yet, there were also flashes of genuine teenage outbursts, like wondering "what the hell...?" when something unexpected happens. It's a strange dynamic between the two sides, but it didn't hinder my enjoyment of the story.

Even though the plot isn't action-packed, there's no doubt that Carly is a strong yet sympathizing character. Being subjected to psychological and physical torture day in and day out, yet remaining strong enough to care for her little brother and put his needs before her hard to read, but easy to admire. She's a problem-solver and a strategist, always looking before she leaps, but never hesitating or second-guessing herself either.

Ultimately, I wanted more! The time-frame felt a little disjointed and rushed, and I was eager for more exploration, more reflection on what was happening. Some of the explanations turned into exposition which I feel was only due to the shortened length. I loved the overall idea and the characters and would have loved to have had them fleshed out a little more, especially the mysterious Morgan and the "they" he refers to. Honestly, I think this plot could have easily filled 200+ pages, and I would have loved reading it.

Overall, this is a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Though this novella runs only around 80 pages, it hooks you and won't let you go until it's through—and even then you're begging for more. If you've an interest in fate or alternate dimensions and enjoy strong female characters, then I'd definitely check this out. There are a few instances of strong language (specifically the F-bomb) and allusions to rape, so do use some discretion in picking this up for younger readers. As for me, I'm looking forward to seeing what Karen has in store for us in the future.

Approximate Reading Time: 2 hours

Come back tomorrow for a guest post from the author of In The Storm, Karen Metcalf!