by Emma Michaels
Reading Grade: New Adult
Publication Date: August 10, 2010
Source: Kindle Store
Age Rating: 14+
Destiny has finally found the life that she has always wanted. She is about to finish college, has a fiance that loves her, and a great summer on the West Coast planned with her friend, Stephanie. But her world is turned upside down when an antique clock mysteriously chimes thirteen times and someone attacks them, sending Stephanie and her mother to the hospital.
Alone, and without any help from the police, Destiny has no choice but to turn to the one man she had left behind a year ago—her ex-boyfriend, David. Together, they must solve the riddle of the thirteenth chime before the clock strikes thirteen again. Yet as they face their own past and hearts, a trap over half a century old is waiting for them to become its prey. For revenge, fifty years is never too long...
- Plot: Destiny and her roommate Stephanie are staying with Stephanie's mother in an old Victorian house on the coast of a small Washington State town for the summer. An old grandfather clock has been part of the house since long before any of them ever set foot in it, and it has the tendency to chime thirteen times out of the blue. One night when that thirteenth chime rings out, Stephanie and her mother end up in the hospital. In a panic, Destiny calls her fearless ex-boyfriend, David, out from Cleveland to help her figure out how to unravel this paranormal mystery that has left her completely baffled.
- Characters: Destiny is the main character, but a lot of this story revolves around her ex-boyfriend, David. Destiny calls him to fly out from their hometown instead of her fiance, Scott. She feels David is the more capable when she's feeling extreme terror, and David comes through for her. He's a really heroic character who has the tendency to be reckless in the face of danger, but always manages to come out unscathed. He still has feelings for Destiny, but Destiny sends him constant mixed signals as to whether or not she still has feelings for him. That's one thing I don't like about her—she seems to be unable to let him go, yet she is very determined to marry the guy she couldn't even reach out to when in crisis.
- Technical Writing: The writing is weak in most areas, but does have some smooth patches here and there. I found countless writer's ticks that grated on me. Also some sentences are worded strangely, and I'm not fond of the clumsy use of adverbs. I have a personal preference for 3rd person-limited POV in adult fiction, yet this one was in 3rd person-omniscient, jumping from one character's head to another and then another, all in one scene. Very confusing and pulled me right out of the story. I think that type of 3rd person POV should only be used for children's fiction, but that's just my opinion.
- Storytelling: Besides the likable characters (Stephanie's mother being one of the funniest), I think the story aspect was strong, too. It has an intriguing paranormal mystery premise that got me interested, and it did a great job keeping me just clueless enough to keep on reading to see the characters uncover the mystery. It uses a very different kind of paranormalcy that I've never heard about before, and it may even be the author's clever invention, this “Sense” phenomenon. I think for lovers of mysteries that can be a bit scary—scarier than Scooby-Doo, anyway—this would be a great fit, although, don't expect the rational explanation and the masked bad guy cursing those “meddling kids” at the end.
- Overall Quality: It goes down on the technical writing, but back up again because of the effective storytelling and good characters, so it evens out to being average. I wouldn't read this if you hate reading any writing that is less than flawless. But, if you like a great paranormal mystery despite poor writing, then this one might work for you.
- Favorite Moment/Scene: It's a spoilery scene at the end when Destiny and David are finally confronted with the spooky clock-dwelling thing that is causing so much trouble in the old Victorian. It was such a relief to finally arrive at that moment and find out what was behind that pesky mystery.
- My Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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