It's been unusually quiet around here lately, for which I apologize. I've been sick for little over a month and entirely unable to focus on my blog, or anything else, for that matter. Thanks to all of you who've worried and written to ask where I'd disappeared to. All your nice thoughts and wishes warmed my little heart.
I'll be easing into things these days, and hopefully I'll be back to my usual rhythm in no time at all. I missed blogging so much, and now that I'm able to come back, you'll never get rid of me again. ;)
Series: The Naturals, #1
Released: November 12th 2013
Publisher: Listening Library
Lenght: 7hrs and 28 mins
Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But, it's not a skill that she's ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they've begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.What Cassie doesn't realize is that there's more at risk than a few unsolved homicides-especially when she's sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own. Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms close. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.Think The Mentalist meets Pretty Little Liars-Jennifer Lynn-Barnes' The Naturals is a gripping psychological thriller with killer appeal, a to-die-for romance, and the bones of a gritty and compelling new series.
Sometimes it’s nice to start a book knowing exactly what to expect: good parts, bad parts and all. The Naturals is a pretty simple, straightforward book. A single review should tell you pretty much everything you need to know about it, and you should be able to judge right away whether it’s something you’ll enjoy.
It is part murder mystery and part teen love triangle drama, so I think it’s safe to say there’s something in it for everyone. Personally, I can’t stand love triangles at the best of times and I thought this one was particularly badly executed, but I’m certain that the readers who usually enjoy them will feel differently and get very invested in the romance, one way or the other.
For me, the serial killer part was part was what saved this book, a least in part. Nothing could quite make up for the torturous and rather pointless love triangle, but I was completely captivated by the mystery and I failed to guess the identity of the killer until the very end. I don’t usually appreciate chapters from the killer’s point of view, although they are inherent to the murder mystery genre, but in this case, I felt they were done remarkably well.
It’s extremely hard to determine whether The Naturals is a paranormal book or not, and yet, I am inclined to think not. The talents these kids have seem to be precisely that – extraordinary talents, but all within range of realistic human capacity, or just beyond. Instead of being bothered by this uncertainty, I found it refreshing and rather intriguing, especially Leah’s lie detecting abilities.
The narrator, Amber Faith, has one of those soft, indistinct voices that are pleasant enough, I suppose, but don’t really stand out in any way. She struggled a bit with voice characterization, especially for male characters, but overall, she falls somewhere around the middle: nothing about her narration rubbed me the wrong way, but I wouldn’t rush to buy a book narrated by her.
All in all, I don’t regret spending 8 hours listening to this book and I’ll likely even pick up the sequel once it becomes available, but while The Naturals was an entertaining read, spectacular it was not.