Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: Twisted Miracles by A.J. Larrieu

Title: Twisted Miracles (The Shadowminds #1)
A.J. Larrieu
Publisher: Carina Press
Acquired Via: NetGalley
Release Date: April 7, 2014

Cass Weatherfield’s powers come with a deadly price.

Cass knows it was her telekinetic gift that killed a college classmate five years back, even if no one else believes her. She’s lived in hiding from her fellow shadowminds ever since, plagued by guilt and suppressing her abilities with sedatives. Until the night her past walks back into her life in the form of sexy Shane Tanner, the ex-boyfriend who trained her…and the one she left without saying goodbye.

When Shane tells her that his twin sister, Mina—Cass’s childhood friend—is missing, Cass vows to help, which means returning to New Orleans to use her dangerous skills in the search. But finding Mina only leads to darker questions. As Cass and Shane race to learn who is targeting shadowminds, they find themselves drawn to each other, body and soul. Just as their powerful intimacy reignites, events take a terrifying turn, and Cass realizes that to save the people she loves, she must embrace the powers that ruined her life.

My Review

I might be a little biased because I love a good Louisiana story, but I really enjoyed A.J. Larrieu’s first novel Twisted Miracles. One of the best parts was that the dialogue between the characters felt real and true. There was no over-the-top fake southern accents and drawls. I didn’t have to see the word “cher” for every endearment. I could tell the book was written by someone who had lived in Louisiana.

I liked that the world building unfurled slowly and we learned a lot about the shadowminds the same time that Cass did. She had been running away from her gift since an accident 5 years ago, and she spent a lot of time denying her gift rather than using it. So, for a lot of the book she was training and learning, which meant that we were learning too. The powers themselves could have a little more explanation though. By the end, I mostly understood that everyone can read minds but some people can do a little more like Cass is a “puller” or Bunny was a healer. I think that could have been explained a little better though throughout the book to make it less confusing.

At the beginning I wasn’t really sold on the relationship between Cass and Shane. (But I didn’t want it to go the way of the love-triangle. Why must there be a love triangle always??? Thankfully this one is short-lived). Shane didn’t seem supportive and he definitely thought all of their problems were caused by Cass. Eventually he realizes that he is wrong, but he still never really apologizes for being unsupportive.

As much as Shane bothered me with Cass, I loved the family dynamic. Shane’s family figuratively adopted Cass when she was a teenager, and I loved how close knit they were with each other and the with the rest of the shadowmind community.

My main complaint with the novel is Cass. She’s a likeable enough character. She’s loving and cares about the people around her. She just doesn’t have much courage. She ran away from her powers when there was a tragic accident. She seems to constantly run away and then run toward Shane (poor Shane probably had whiplash). I guess she’s just a bit too tentative for my taste. Hopefully as the series continues and she gets some self-confidence, she may get more of backbone. Also some of this may be due to the fact that her family never really believed her regarding the tragic accident and her additional powers.

The plot moved along at a nice pace, and while the story wasn’t action packed, I was never bored either. I do wish that there was a little something more to the plot, something that made me hate putting the book down. Like, I really wish we got more information on the guardians (I really want more information on Susannah! She seems like quite the interesting character).

Speaking of guardians, how did New Orleans not have a Guardian? If I’m picking top supernatural hangouts, New Orleans will always be on the top of the list.

Overall, Twisted Miracles was an enjoyable read. I’d recommend it to someone who wanted a lighter, slightly different twist on the regular Urban Fantasy scene. I’ll definitely be picking up the next in the series, especially since most Urban Fantasy series just get better as they go along.
- 3.5/5 Stars -

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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