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Friday, June 29, 2007

My review of Beyond Reach by Melody Carlson...(as seen on Christian Book Previews site.)

Beyond Reach (The Secret Life Samantha McGregor, Book 2)

From the Publisher:

If You Thought You Needed Vision, Would You Ask God For It?

Exhausted by her role in the dramatic rescue of Kayla Henderson, Samantha McGregor is ready for a vacation from her God-given visions. But when Sam gets her wish and the visions actually go on hiatus, she’s beginning to wonder if she’s lost her spiritual gift forever. To make matters worse, her police friend Ebony needs her help!

Peter Clark has been dead for several years, an open-and-shut case of suicide, but Ebony’s not convinced. Why would he do it? And why does Ebony suspect foul play? Sam has been no help in the investigation, and just when she’s lost all hope, God gives her a vision of a guy jumping from a railroad bridge. Suddenly the floodgates open and all of Sam’s visions involve suicide. Who is this guy? And what does this have to do with Peter’s death? It’s a race against the clock as Sam worries about every brown-haired guy she meets: her lab partner, Olivia’s rocker friend, Peter’s little brother–they all fit the description!

Whoever the guy in her vision is, his identity is just beyond Sam’s reach, and he’s definitely losing his grip fast…Trusting God will lead her, Sam’s determined to send a message of hope and find him before he gives up.

My review (as seen on Christina Book Previews site)

Beyond Reach is the second book in a series, but it reads like a stand-alone novel. From the first page the author pulls the reader into a dramatic scene. Samantha is in an airport and her vision involves terrorists. That's when the reader finds out more about Samantha's special gift. The burden seems to be too much at times and Samantha complains to God about this. Then she stops having visions and she's worried God has taken away her gift.

There are two core components of the rest of the story. Samantha is trying to determine what happened to Peter, who died five years earlier from a gunshot wound to the head, and then there are the strange visions of suicide attempts that plague her.

Without giving the story away, I'll say that the author really knows how to pull the reader along. Sometimes you think you know who the person in danger is, but then the author twists things or puts a spin on the direction you think the story is going. I figured out who was in danger before he was revealed, but that didn't bother me because it made me even more invested in the story. Because I cared about the characters, I wanted to make sure the person was safe, and I sat at the edge of my seat when things started to become clear to Samantha.

Beyond Reach is a multi-faceted novel of intrigue, suspense, and mystery, but it is also a story about the value of true friendship and unconditional love. The heroine genuinely cared about the hurting people in this story and it clearly made a difference in their lives. She set aside her own fears and concerns for the benefit of others. That is what true Christian faith is all about, and the author does a fabulous job showing that Christ-like love can literally save someone from total destruction.

This story inspired me because the characters were very three dimensional and interesting. There was nothing sappy about this book. In fact, Beyond Reach is superior to many YA novels on the market because while the subject matter is depressing, in this story there are vivid scenes that offer hope, and Samantha is such a wonderful role model for youth. I highly recommend this book!

Beyond Reach
was published by Multnomah/Waterbrook Press and released in April 2007.

1 comment:

micerme said...

sounds like another book to be put on the to read list... percy

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