Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Heartless by Kelly Martin

Who is really the monster?
For 13 years, Gracen Sullivan dreamed about a red-eyed demon named Hart Blackwell who tortured her every night. Her mother freaked when she found out about her daughter's "hallucinations" and forced Gracen to go to the doctor, who prescribed some very powerful medication, which kept Hart out of her head for five years.

A week ago, Hart came back and brought a friend.
But something has changed, and Gracen is seeing Hart when she's awake too. And the other "friends" in her dreams? They have been found dead.
The police want to talk to her.
Her boyfriend has become distant.
Her dreams are becoming more and more intense.
Hell wants her.
Heaven has to stop her.
When push comes to shove, can Gracen fight the evil eating away inside her or will she be forced to embrace it and destroy the world.
Review by Patrick:

So I read/listened to this book and finished it exactly one year after Rachel did. Rachel purchased a copy of her audio book through Audible for me months ago and I just finished listening to it, and I'm looking forward for the next audio books. Kelly, I'm sorry this one took me so long to complete. I was busy, you know, like getting my CPA busy. But the wait is over, and my review is here.

Supernatural, Mystery, Heaven and Hell, Angels and Demons (and worse), Civil War, Family Drama, Lies and Betrayal, Suspense, Spells, Epic-Save-the-World-from-the-Bad-Guys theme, a little bit of love and conflicted emotions... This book has some of all of that. If you like just about anything in books, then pick this series up. You'll find something in there that you will like.

One of the things I found slightly irritating was the excessive soliloquies, where the character was thinking in their head (or sometimes having a conversation mentally, but... well that's okay). I mean, a normal person can't possibly have five or more separate thoughts after every line of dialogue in a conversation. I think this was more of a writing style of Kelly's than anything else, and it has its advantages. You really get the feel for what the characters 'feel' when exposed to new information. And in a sense we do have these emotional reactions during conversations, they just happen in the blink of an eye, and are not well thought out sentences in our head. That instant reaction to emotion is difficult to convey in a book without words, so it is very helpful in that regard. I think I was just not used to the writing style that she uses, and found it a slight distraction from the scenes in the book.

Julie Hinton was the narrator for the audio book. I've seen enough of Kelly's Facebook videos that I kind of know her voice. The first time I heard Julie Hinton start out in the first chapter of this book, I immediately thought, "Wow! She's reading it like Kelly would." She has that Southern drawl, which is perfectly fitting for the Southern characters. But she keeps her voices for characters different, distinct, and consistent. There is little higher praise than that for a book narrator.

The epilogue presents an obvious question: "How can Gracen be...?" Spoilers. Which, of course, is easily solved by reading the next book in the series. And one that I think I will, as soon as the audio book comes out. I'm looking forward to it. For now, this one gets 4 stars from me. Also, read Rachel's review as well. She has a slightly different take on the book (and recommends it higher than I do).

Keep reading, and may your dreams be Hartless.

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