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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Review of Blind Consent by Kelli Keith

Book Review


Name:
Kelli Keith

Date:
December 10, 2017

Book Title:
Blind Consent

Book Author:
Michael W. Davis

Date of Publication:
May 2014

Number of Pages:
328

Main Characters:
Ryan Matthews is a mechanical engineer who lost his wife to childbirth. Haunted by nightmares, he seeks refuge in his hometown of Tanglewood, VA.

Annie is a small-town girl with a gift for “reading” people and Ryan’s childhood friend.

Other Important Characters:
April Matthews is Ryan’s wife who dies during childbirth.

Dr. Sam Cooper is the brilliant scientist who works (mostly for free) in the impoverished town of Tanglewood.

Jake Montgomery is the shady owner of the lumber yard whose lax safety practices cause many residents to age before their time.

Setting:
Virginia-Approximately the year 2000.

Synopsis:
After tragically losing his wife, April, Ryan Matthews can’t seem to pick up the pieces.  After a year of nightmares and self-imposed isolation, he decides to move back to Tanglewood, VA to be with his mom and daughter.  From the moment he arrived he noticed something was out of the ordinary with the forgotten town, population 277.  With his childhood friend, Annie, by his side, they will solve the mystery and rid Ryan of his nightmares forever.

Key Points/Conflict:
Ryan and April have the perfect marriage, filled with love and a baby on the way.  When April dies during childbirth, everything Ryan knows and loves is lost.  For a year he goes through life’s motions, thinking he will never recover from his loss.  The nightmares from his life have taken over his dreams and he realizes he can no longer stay in their apartment, or the city, they called home. To move on with his life, he decides to move in with his mom, Martha, and his one-year old daughter, Emma.

Tanglewood, VA has a diminishing population currently at 277 people.  Approximately 30 years prior, the town had a flourishing livestock and crafts industry that abruptly disappeared, leaving the people and the town in utter poverty.  Ryan’s family moved away when he was seven and his memories of that time are hazy or non-existent.  When he arrives he senses something is wrong with the people.  Even though the number of deaths has waned to one every five years, the injuries and resulting deformities are above the national average.

When Ryan meets Annie, his world his turned upside down.  Her familiarity both intrigues and terrifies him.  He is not ready to let go of April or her memory.  The more time they spend together, the more memories return—some he is ready for, some he wants to stay buried.

As Ryan digs for answers about the town’s strange history, he knowingly pokes a hornet’s nest.  The closer he gets to the truth, the more nervous the villains become and they will stop at nothing to end his query.

Ryan and Annie must trust each other and join together to fight for the town, the people, and to keep certain secrets from coming to light.  In a figurative battle of good vs evil, Judgement Day has arrived.

Analysis/Evaluation:
Blind Consent was far from what was expected.  At times the descriptions were over the top and repetitive but, it did not keep the reader from losing interest in the storyline.  Although, it took until 30% into the book to find out that Ryan’s daughter survived the birthing process and has lived with his mother.

Continuity throughout the novel was beautiful.  There were no unexplained time lapses, no character mistakes, and everything received a full explanation.  This reader feels like Nancy’s character should be removed from the story.  The way she was presented in the beginning, it seemed as if she was a key element of the plot, then suddenly, she was written off.  Her affection for Ryan, despite being April’s “best friend” was a turn off.

Another aspect of the novel that may avert certain readers is the constant reference to religion.  The genre for this novel really should fall into the Christian Fiction realm, even though there are hints of the science fiction and mildly-explicit romance.  At times it felt a bit “preachy” but that was necessary to the storyline.  

The science presented throughout the story was solid but the terminology was a bit outdated.  When Dr. Cooper was explaining stem cells to Ryan, the “immoral” treatment he developed sounds very much like the process to produce induced pluripotent stem cells; which are adult stem cells that are reprogrammed to be embryonic-like through gene (virus) therapy.  However, they cannot produce the same results as Dr. Coopers!  

The story moved a bit slow due to the superfluous storylines and descriptions but, this reader still could not put it down.  The finality was in chapter 45 and the additional chapters did not add any new or relevant information.  The final two chapters should have been done as an epilogue instead of a continuation of the story.

Blind Consent is available on Amazon, Kobo, at Barnes & Noble, and at the Champagne Bookstore.

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