Friday, May 31, 2013
Review:Power Within (The Lazarus Children) by C.L. Causer
There are so many thing to like about this novel.
It has a good plot-well thought out action- well paced- suspenseful and just the right amount of twist and turns to get the reader to the very end wanting to read more. The characters are done well. I love Charlie -she caught me up from the start and kept me hanging in there. There is so much to like about this independent strong young woman to suggest that the gift of these powers that she has seem as though they've been placed in the right hands.
Charlotte 'Charlie' Gordon at the age of eleven suffers an accident that should have been fatal. Out to sea she falls overboard during a strange storm that overtakes the ship she is on with her father and brother. Charlie also, at the same time, appears to have had some sort of dream which was like a vision of what was going to happen. We later find out that she is located- washed ashore where she is resuscitated.
Since then things have never been the same for Charlie. Charlie suffers episodes that wreak havoc on those around her. In an effort to control this she's been given some drugs that will inhibit this. What they really do is suppress her entire body and possibly make her lethargic. While it seems extremely bizarre that she somehow is kept off the radar, so to speak, and only her family and one personal friend, Jake, know what is happening to her; once the drugs were started they appear to be masking the real problem well enough.
We start out with her in college, having fallen asleep in class and managing to destroy a lot of personal computer equipment when her gift-curse kicks in. Thankfully no one has connected this incident and one previous incident to Charlie and she has Jake around to help her. She's low on her suppressor drugs and has had to use the drug more often, so it's time to see the doctor again.
The somewhat routine trip to the doctor begins the terror.
Charlie is attacked - the doctor is acting strangely- and Charlie ends up killing at least two of the people trying to kidnap her. She somehow incinerates them.(shades of Firestarter by Stephen King.) Since the university is close to home Charlie manages to run through the backwoods to get home. When she gets there, she finds that there's news of some strange activity around her doctor's office but no reports of anyone hurt.
At home with family she is again attacked and this time the attackers take the whole family hostage as they explain that they are there to take Charlie because of her abilities. Charlie and family also discover that Charlie's sister Valerie's husband, Ryan, is a mole placed there by the people who are now kidnapping Charlie. Ryan is portrayed poorly enough to have most readers happy that he's a villain.
Mr. Collins, the lead kidnaper, and company are subdued when Jake shows up to save the day. The family decide to go on the run. Charlie decides to split from them and Jake goes with Charlie. Eventually after several more attempts on Charlie, she decides she needs to go alone so as not to endanger everyone.
There are several groups working against each other in regards to Charlie and people like her. It will take Charlie a long time to figure out who she can trust. When the kidnappers start getting serious it might prove to be too late to turn to anyone for help.
This book has the reader guessing- not only who Charlie can trust- also what it is that Charlie might be. Slowly C.L. Causer builds the world that Charlie lives in and the readers start to see the shape of the rules that seem to exist for the people like Charlie. It doesn't take much to realize that Charlie might be something a bit above average in her community.
That makes her more powerful but also more dangerous to those around her. Not only is she a prime target for the bad people, she's also a danger to those around her until she can control her powers.
The suspense winds the story around several times until the end where the real shocker kicks in and because this is the first book of the series the reader is left hanging.
I would be doing an injustice to not give fair warning to the reader:
What damages this novel is the grammar. The upside to that is it makes this a poster child for all to look at to help understand the need for editing by several eyes. The version I have is fraught with so many were sat(9) was sat(21) was stood(9)were stood(4). They are just plain annoying. There are words that are inexplicably separated by spaces. When it comes to the grammar in this novel- well, it's not for the faint of heart.
Sliding tenses back and forth didn't seem to bother me that much- I could mostly figure things out.
This is still a good strong story. It could be better, but all that aside I'd love to see the next book in this story. I definitely want to know what happens next in Charlie's life.