CAGED Written by Onaiza Khan
2016; 130 Pages (Inkitt)
Genre: suspense. mystery, paranormal, fantasy
(I received an ARC from INKITT)
Caged had a promising premise of a suspense novel…unfortunately, Onaiza Khan does not deliver. The main character mentions the movie Room (based on the book written by Emma Donoghue) – about a young woman abducted, kept captive for years and even has a baby with the abductor. After a few pages you realize that this more like Aleatha Romig’s Consequences – a young woman finds herself kidnapped by a wealthy man and is confined to a room at his whim. This short novel tries to build up suspense like the books I mentioned but it is very scattered. The writing seems choppy (moving from scene to scene without explanation) at times so you don’t get the sense of suspense that the author is trying to build. Then, to explain the mystery, the author kind of cops out with delving into the paranormal almost out of the blue. After Noor, the main character, meets Christian I found myself reading just to find out how Khan would wrap it all up. Some of the conversations are bit whiny and childish. And, it brings up Twilight randomly to explain things. I found it also weird when Daniel asked Noor what her favourite movie was…she says a Hindi title…and then is mad when he asks what it means. That kind of sets the theme of this book. I think while the author has good ideas she failed to execute it and it seems like it lacked an experienced editor.
THE CHRISTMAS ANGEL PROJECT Written by Melody Carlson
2016; 176 Pages (Baker Publishing Group)
Genre: holiday, fiction,
(I received an ARC from Graf-Martin )
Abby is the glue that keeps her book club together. She has forged a relationship with each of the four women. On Thanksgiving, Abby is reflecting on her life and the gift she wants to give her book club, when she dies suddenly. Upon hearing this news, Belinda, Grace, Cassidy and Louisa are shattered. This young vibrant woman that gave so much to the world has left them. They decide to meet up as expected for their book club meeting to decide the book club’s future, and also see what Abby has left them. As they open their gifts, they see that Abby has handcrafted each woman an angel in their image. Taking this as a sign each woman vows to become Christmas Angels. Using their talents they contribute to people and find themselves.
When I started this novella last night, I was hoping to just read a few chapters, but stayed up to finish it. I enjoyed this sweet short story. It reminded me a bit of my book club – five women who are from different backgrounds and age groups. If one of us was to pass away, I just can’t even imagine. This book is considered “Christian” fiction but it is not preachy or over-the-top moral ridden. This book reminds us that life is precious and that while life can hit us with curve-balls we must continue to do the best we can. I will definitely keep this book on my shelf as I may need it to remember that.