Kirsty wakes up tied up in a barn, surrounded by many women in the similar position. She casts one quick look around the place and spots a box with artificial blue roses. To her horror, it confirms that she was abducted by the Blue Rose Killer that has kidnapped a couple of dozen of women but hasn’t killed anyone yet. She struggles to escape and runs for her life, bumping into an assassin who is her only hope for survival.
“Cane’s Detour” is a short prequel for Dwayne Gill’s new novel “Written by Blood” which will be published this summer. The prequel introduces the main character of the novel, Cane, who is an assassin on his way to a mission but is caught off guard by a woman in distress and he decides to make a detour to save her and others.
While the author’s writing style takes some getting used to, the story is captivating and engaging. Kirsty’s distress, while she is in captivity, is almost palpable and the reader can’t help but to empathize with her.
The ending definitely is a cruel cliff-hanger and I would have liked more info on Cane and his mission. But I will make sure to watch out of Gill’s novel when it comes out in the summer and if you like a solid thriller, you will too.
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If you ever wondered what would happen if you put teenage girls in place of young boys in the classic “Lord of the Flies”, then “Damselfly” will definitely answer all of your questions. The narrator, Samantha wakes up on an empty island, covered in bruises and mosquito bites. She soon recalls the plane crash and starts looking for her classmates. Some of them turn up dead while others are battered but alive. They soon organize themselves but under the pressure of danger from the unknown person and the cruelty that they show to each other, they slowly shed their humanity and crumble into a state of feral animals.
The author has a good grasp of the genre and the insight into the teenage mind. The language she uses is clear and manages to slowly escalate the tone of the novel to match the terrifying circumstances that the characters find themselves in.
The one dilemma I have about the structure of the story is about Rittika, who seemed unnecessarily cruel from the beginning and didn’t seem to evolve. The trope of the mean popular girl is quite common in the Young Adult genre but should have some layers or one redeeming quality. But I guess the author wanted to use her as the main sociopath and to emphasize the humanity of the rest of the characters.
My favourite character was Mel, the naturalist genius who takes a lot of o notice of the world around her and probably the only voice of reason in the whole book, apart from Pablo. But after a while, she too falls victim to escapism and carelessness.
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