Author: Peter Kassan
My Rating: 4 conch
Source: Received from author in exchange for an honest review
By At: Amazon, Barnes and Noble
Summary from Goodreads: What if you suddenly discovered you had a sense-and powers-that almost no one else in the world did? When Amanda Lindner Nichols, a 24-year-old graphic artist living with her husband in Queens, New York, is revived from a near-death experience, she discovers she perceives everyone around her as points of light-but not with her eyes. She soon learns she can not only perceive the life energy of others, but she can give and take it. With the help of others like her, she brings her husband Chris to the brink of death and back to bestow on him the same remarkable faculty, and they're the happiest they've been. But not for long. All over the world, people who've been revived from their own near-death experience at just the right moment discover themselves with these same unusual powers. They find ways to use them-some for good and some for evil. When Amanda and Chris encounter a ruthless group of gangsters with the same faculty, tragedy follows-and Amanda faces the greatest challenge of her life.
The Review: This book had a very intriguing concept - Near Death Experiences and the after effects of dealing with such an event. Most of the story focuses on Amanda and Herrera - two people who had NDEs and came back with the ability to absorb (and give) their life force from others. And two people who had a completely different way of dealing with their gift. While Amanda struggles with accepting the change, Herrera embraces it and uses his new talents to support his nefarious business dealings. As a character, there is absolutely nothing to like about Herrera - but every book needs its villain. Amanda is more likeable and reasonable, despite all of the hardships she faces. As a whole, this book read well, although the consistent use of "faculty" to describe their gift, had me thinking about academia every time (a side effect from my real-life career no doubt)! I also think the story could have been told without about a third of the book. At times, the author jumps around to different characters and different stories that weren't really relevant to the main plot points. That being said, I found myself guessing what was going to happen next and was anxious to see how all of the stories would come together at the end.
The Good: A different type of story with two solid main characters that demonstrate the different ways people would react to having such a gift in their hands.
The Issue: The ending. I waited and waited for all of the stories to come together, and when Amanda and Herrera's did, it felt rushed and slightly out of character. I would have liked to see more emphasis on joining the plots together earlier and following the outcome after Amanda's confrontation.
The Rating: 3.5 - 4 conch. Intriguing storyline that will keep you guessing.