A History of Wild Places; Shea Ernshaw
Simon & Schuster Audio - 2021
(5) different narrators including Cassadra Campbell - very good)
(11 hours - 59 minutes)
Travis Wren has a talent for helping the police find missing persons. Hanging out in places the missing have frequented, holding on to a piece of clothing or possession of the missing has been helpful in giving Travis a feel for what went on in the person's life when they went missing. Unfortunately, Travis is still haunted by the fact that he was not able to prevent his own sister from taking her own life.
Travis was hired by the family of Maggie St. James, a children's author known for her darker stories. Maggie has been missing for (5) years. Travis travels to Pastoral, a commune community led by a man named Levi who isn't welcoming to outsiders. In addition to Levi, there is a married couple name Theo and Callie and Callie's blind sister, Bee, who is in love with Levi. Bee has a keen sense of observation as a blind person. So when Travis appears to have gone missing as well, I was drawn into the cult-like mystery anxious to uncover the darker side of this commune.
This is book that my husband and I started out enjoying but, then the story turned in a darker fairy tale like storyline that left me puzzle and I didn't figure out. I did find it difficult to connect with any of the character except perhaps Bee. This was definitely not the type of book I'm drawn to but thought it was well written, descriptive and atmospheric. I wasn't a fan of the paranormal aspects of the story.
Rating - 3.5/5 stars
(Note: This audiobook download was made available by the publisher in exchange for my unbiasaed review.
Dark Matter; Blake Crouch
Penguin Random House Audio - 2016
Narrated by Jon Lindstrom- very good
(10 hours - 8 minutes)
Dark Matter is my book group's pick for September and, it's one of those books that I would have been unlikely to have picked up on my own but, I am so happy that I tried it; a riveting story.
As the story opens we meet Jason Dessen, a devoted family man and college professor. His wife Daniela is the love of his life as is his teenaged son Charlie. Thursday evenings are family night where the family gathers around the kitchen preparing a meal together while catching up on their week. Since the meal would not be ready for a while, Daniela convinces Jason to run out to congratulate an accomplished former associate who has just been given a prestigious award. When Jason fails to return home when expected, no one could have predicted how his life would be turned upside down. Jason is abducted, drugged and wakes up in a life totally different from the one he knew having him question everything he knew to be true.
What follows is a foreboding SF thriller, but one that is not too heavy in effects for readers like me who generally shy away from that genre. It is a fast paced, addictive story with a theme that explores ambition, past decisions, what constitutes happiness and the road not taken. Told from Jason's POV, his character is well-explored and one I found easy to feel for. His wife and son's character could have been explored more deeply. This was an easy story to get pulled into from the very beginning, I had to pace myself and I can't wait to discuss this one in a few weeks with my group. Highly recommended.
Rating - 4.5/5 stars (library download)