As part of a New Year’s plan, I’ve decided to focus the “Chasing A Good Read” series on debut authors. I am participating in the 2013 Debut Author Challenge and hope you will follow me as I review some of the new releases from an incredible list of talented writers.
My first review of the year is for Jennifer Rush’s ALTERED. What I love about this book is there is no overture or set-up. The story takes off from page one and immediately immerses the reader in intrigue.
The premise revolves around a young girl named, Anna, who finds herself living a somewhat sheltered and odd life in a farmhouse in upstate New York. From all outward appearances things look normal, but under the farmhouse is a secret lab where four boys are test subjects in a secret quasi-government project.
The boys: Trev, Cas, Nick and of course the love interest, Sam, all suffer from amnesia and are clueless as to why they are participants in the project. Their only link to the world is via Anna and her father, Arthur, the supervising scientist. Rush takes very little time introducing the reader to each of these characters before the true action begins when the four boys escape with Anna in tow.
I love the small details Rush uses to build the mystery. Many times a writer drops clues on the reader like an anvil, but Rush methodically and carefully leads the reader through the mysteries as to what is really happening to both Anna and the boys. I especially love her use of Sam’s tattoo as a way to build intrigue around the project – and add heat to the budding romance.
Rush does an amazing job of setting the scene and then letting her characters take over. I won’t go into much more detail about the story because it would give away too many spoilers. All I will say is there is a lot more to the project than expected and Anna is connected to the science in a way no one imagined.
The ending, which is somewhat expected, is still satisfying and sets the stage for a sequel. Rush has built a fine story here and I’m sure readers will be eager to learn what happens next to Anna and the boys.
Rating: Worth the Chase