This is a different sort of post for me. I used to book blog all the time, but over the years that lessened and lessened and while the blog is still live, I just don’t write book reviews anymore. I didn’t fall out of love with it, but I found I was reading less and so it was hard to keep reviewing! But, today I am sharing my first book review on Tidbits of Care, and I hope this post that you like.
I have talked about some of my favourite authors in the past and today’s book review is by an otherwise unknown to me author, and in a genre that is not my cup of tea. My book club is to thank for that, and I’m grateful!
Me, as a Reader
Let me preface this review by giving you an idea of who I am as a reader. I have loved reading since I first learned to read, and have not put books down ever since. Tastes of course change over time. I read a mixture of genres in high school, as required by my English classes and my own interests, many of which have graced high school English reading lists for decades.
I loved reading and literature so much that I majored in English, and chose to pursue a specialized degree in English in university. So I read a lot more classics essentially and some contemporary literature by authors such as Toni Morrison, Thomas King and Anne Tyler. When I left university I fell into reading historical fiction as it was so different from what I had been reading for five years as a uni student. I read authors like Philippa Gregory, Michelle Moran and read a lot of Jane Austen spoofs as well.
Over time however, I found I was reading less because I wasn’t enjoying a lot of the books I picked up. The historical fiction was great, but I found it hard find other authors I enjoyed and eventually I delved into romance as a genre. And my world exploded. Romance was so much fun to read! And interestingly, I loved the connections many of the books had to classic authors like Jane Austen. And there were so many sub genres as well, my favourites being paranormal romance and historical romance. I found favourite authors and favourite series, and I was devouring books at a pace I never had before.
I am now reading a mix of genres more than I did before. I read romance still, but I am returning to historical fiction and I’m starting to branch out to authors such as Ruth Ware, Kate White and K.A Tucker. On to the book review!
The Book: The Chain by Adrian McKinty
“You just dropped off your child at the bus stop. A panicked stranger calls your phone. Your child has been kidnapped, and the stranger explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger. The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child within 24 hours. Your child will be released only when the next victim’s parents kidnap yet another child, and most importantly, the stranger explains, if you don’t kidnap a child, or if the next parents don’t kidnap a child, your child will be murdered. You are now part of The Chain.” —Goodreads
So I was a bit anxious when I read the blurb for this book because I was afraid it might be a bit grisly. But I relished this book. It was fast paced, gripping and I just kept turning the pages. Aside from a well paced, polished writing style, this book hooks in its reader from the first page as the action starts right away. I was on chapter five before I even realized it so the story moves fast.
This is what matters to me as a reader, that the novel is readable, interesting and relatable. And I can well imagine the terror that Rachel experienced, and the choices of both her and others in this novel.
I really liked the characters in this book. Each was alive and unique, from Rachel who is willing to do anything to get her daughter back safe and sound, to the rather overconfident evil mastermind of the chain. I found myself sympathizing with Rachel, and some of the other parents who were victims of the chain, and it was certainly interesting crawling into the minds of the brother and sister evil villains who created and maintained the chain.
The evolution of Rachel is certainly interesting. She begins as a divorced mom who has been beaten down by her battle with cancer, and who is only starting to put the pieces of her life back together. Seeing her harden was both worrying and wonderful because even though her choices were awful, they made her strong enough to do not only what she needed to do for her daughter, but to end the chain once and for all.
Pretty dang original! I have never read anything quite like this. Fast paced, solid from start to finish in my opinion. This is a genre I’m not hugely familiar with, but I have read some mysteries/crime stories and something I have always found is that you can figure out the who done it. Or, at least the clues are there! However, this book dealt with the villains in a different way, and it was one I enjoyed as it built up to an unexpected and interesting climax.
Five out of five stars for me! This is intense enough to keep even the disinterested reader interested, and yet you can get through the novel quickly too, so it’s perfect to read any time and any where. Like on the beach. Or in bed on a cold’s winter day. I would recommend this to anyone who in a reading slump (you book worms know what I mean) because it’s a good pick me up book and even if you think you are not in the mood for it, you’ll likely get swept along with it as I did and it is a fun ride of a read!
What sort of books do you find gripping? Share in the comments below.
Great review! I’ve LITERALLY just finished reading The Chain (yesterday I finished it) so it’s very fresh in my mind. I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as you but it certainly was a very original storyline, wasn’t it? Definitely unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I also loved how the author went into the psychological trauma the characters experienced after they were out of The Chain – especially the daughter.
YES!! I liked that too, dealing with the aftermath. So funny you just finished reading it!