♦ BOOK DETAILS ♦
Title: The Reader
Author: M.K. Harkins
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Publication: Aug. 25, 2016
RATING: 3 stars ⭐⭐⭐
SYNOPSIS: “Hunted, shot, and without her memory, eighteen-year-old Ann Baker wakes in shallow water on a deserted Pacific Northwest island. She is soon approached by two young men claiming to be her friends. Something isn’t right, but when gunshots sound, Ann is left with little choice but to allow Devon and Archer to help her escape. Soon she finds herself in their North Bend mountain compound, where the higher evolved humans claim to be mind-readers. While Ann heals, she realizes they believe her to be one of the last and most powerful of all – The Lost One.
She’s welcomed by most with opened arms, but not everyone is happy about her arrival. A jealous adversary has plans for Ann, which spirals the entire Reader community into chaos.
As lies, murder, and betrayal threaten to rip apart the once harmonious mountain dwellers, Ann is thrust into making a decision that could save or devastate not only The Readers, but all of mankind. But there’s just one glitch: by doing so it may require her to make the ultimate sacrifice.”
(*Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me an ARC of The Reader in exchange for an honest review.)
Contrary to its title, The Reader doesn’t actually refer to your typical bookworm but to MIND READERS. What? You don’t think that’s cool enough? Well…
This story starts off when the main character Ann wakes up on the shore with a gunshot wound and amnesia and two handsome guys named Devon and Archer rescue her and take her away to a secret compound where a whole community of mind-readers live. There it was revealed that Ann was one of them but they couldn’t be sure if she was The Lost One – the one prophesied to be the most powerful reader of all and will determine the fate of the war between the Readers and Jacks. One side is determined to keep her in while the other is determined to steal her away.
First off, this is a nice book. Great concept, perfect for a quick read and not to mention that cover which is so pleasing to look at. It shows the main character of this book, Ann, who is likable enough, but a bit bland in my opinion. Devon though, he’s my favourite character here since I am a sucker for dark, brooding, rude-mannered guys. I already rooted for them from the very beginning so… I prayed Archer wouldn’t get in their way. Also, I love the history behind their world and I would’ve loved to know even more if it had been stretched into a series.
However, I thought that there are a number of things that could’ve been better. Firstly, there seems to be a lack of depth in characterization and plot. As a reader, I honestly prefer a book with a bad plot and characters I can connect with emotionally than a book with an amazing plot but with shallow characters. It also surprised me when a certain character was suddenly cut off from the story just after his initial appearance. You tell yourself this is the part where you’re supposed to feel appalled or shocked, but you can’t – because he got killed right before you even got to know him. It was tragic, yes – but it didn’t send my emotions spiralling. And you know me… I love good books that toy with my emotions.
Secondly, this book had some good twists and surprises in store. But because it felt rushed and hurried, they became underwhelming instead and dampened the thrill. For example, I already had a good idea who the culprit would be before I even reached half of the story. However, I did enjoy reading Ann’s journey as she deals with her amnesia and gets used to her new life.
Thirdly, in relation to my rushed/hurried issue, I didn’t buy Devon’s quick change of heart. He was so rude to Ann at first, and then all of a sudden the tables have turned and he was much nicer to her now and became utterly whipped. It just doesn’t make any sense, except that this development in their relationship contributes a lot to the progress of the plot. I know this was intended to be a quick read, but a little subtlety wouldn’t hurt.
Overall, this book is a nice choice for laid-back reading. But at the time, I was looking for more so I wasn’t quite satisfied with the whole book, especially with that ending. Whether the protagonist should have lived or died, the outcome should be the product of the natural flow of the story and not forced. So reading that ending, I was a bit disappointed.
However, don’t let me stop you from picking up this book.
Who knows? You could be the next mind-reader and you never even knew it. 😉