Expected Release Date: June 23rd, 2014
Publisher: Hallowed Ink Press
It takes only half a second…
…Like those commercials where a crash test dummy rockets forward at high speed and slams into a wall.
…In that instant, every thought in Emma Lynn Walsh’s head collides with mine—every thought, memory, hope, disappointment and dream.
…I open my eyes to see Dr. Walsh peering at me, a puzzled expression on her face.
“Let—go—of—me,” I order though clenched teeth.
Mira wants to die. She’s attempted suicide twice already, and failed. Every time she comes in contact with another person, skin to skin, that person’s psyche uploads into hers. While her psychologist considers this a gift, for Mira, it’s a curse from which she cannot escape.
To make matters worse, Mira’s father is being investigated in the deaths of several volunteer test subjects of a miracle drug. Shortly after Mira’s mother starts asking questions, she ends up in a coma. Although her father claims it was an accident, thanks to her “condition” Mira knows the truth…but proving it just might get her killed!
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Contact surprised me in multiple ways, all pleasant. It seemed set in the very near future with a few important differences – the SF equivalent of magical realism. I love SF and fantasy, but most books without a lot of futuristic or fantastic elements usually bore me. Not so with Contact. The miracle drugs setting the plot in motion didn’t strain my credulity, an advantage paired with Mira’s reaction to skin contact.
The action built suspense at a good pace to keep me guessing, so I kept turning pages when I should have been working, editing another book. The well-timed revelations added more questions and fed the next mystery, so the hours flew by, literally – I started on the ground but finished reading while flying from one end of the country to the other.
Mira’s characterization made me sympathize with her reactions to the pain of touch. The only hitch was her clumsiness, too extreme and reminiscent of Bella. Still funny though. Embarrassing circumstances also made a great introduction to the soon to be boyfriend and new reason to live, David. He was great; his underdog circumstances and character were both sympathetic and realistic. I was happy about the main characters’ Latino heritage and that their budding romance (a little kissing due to Mira’s problem with touch) didn’t upstage the subterfuge concerning drug trials or a key character’s death.
Even though Mira’s suspicions about the villain’s identity didn’t mislead me as much as the author might have intended, I’m glad the clues were there. I dislike false mysteries and enjoy spotting “who-done-it” before the investigators do. Then I can think, “No, don’t go there!” Sooo much more fun. I liked the action involving a not-so-kick-butt heroine with good instincts, so she did some of the saving but not all. The climax kept me on the edge of my seat because it seemed more realistic than many over-the-top books and movies. I didn’t roll my eyes and think, “Get real!”
Yes, a whole plot arc! Then a nice little bombshell dropped at the end. So there will be a book two, and I want to read it. The suicide attempts and violence would make me want to limit reading to around age fourteen and above. If in doubt, parents should pre-read and judge for themselves. Warning: one book like this could lead to a reading habit. Four of five stars because there’s room for improvement. I was provided a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
After earning her B.A. in English in 1995, Laurisa White Reyes spent many years writing for newspapers and magazines before gathering enough courage to live her dream of writing novels. Contact is her third published book. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in creative writing, is a book editor for Hamilton Springs/Xchyler Press, and is the Editor-in-chief of Middle Shelf Magazine. She lives in Southern California with her husband and five children.