Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Reach

The Reach
By: Nate Kenyon
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: Leisure Books
Language: English
November 2008, $7.99
Genre: Horror

Young Sarah is no ordinary girl. She’s been diagnosed as schizophrenic and locked away in a children’s psychiatric ward. But that’s not what makes her special. She also has a very strange – and powerful- gift. Scientists have been studying Sarah’s remarkable psychic power for years, enhancing it, manipulating it…twisting it into something evil. But their plans have gone horribly wrong. How much longer can they control Sarah? And what will happen when her powers are unleashed?


I can’t remember where I saw this title posted, but it intrigued me. Kind of a cross between ‘Firestarter’ and other Stephen King titles that contain psi powers. At first I wasn’t wholly impressed as the lead character dresses rather plainly and professional, the perfect student kind of feel, and then wears a scrunchie in her hair. I would have to go with Carrie Bradshaw and say that no self respecting woman would be caught in public wearing such a thing. Yes, its something small but it annoyed me and dated the book when I think the time period was meant to be ambiguous and not be stuck in the late 80’s early 90’s. Thankfully I kept reading.

It’s an easy read. Psych grad student Jess Chambers is asked to look in and try to befriend and diagnose young Sarah. She is told that the girl is schizophrenic, but Jess discovers early on that Sarah is not what she seems, nor are her ‘caregivers’ and the truth is far more dangerous.

While it is easy to make comparisons to ‘Firestarter’, I think it holds its own. Sure you have a little girl who has an amazing and dangerous power with an evil institution trying to use that power for their own ends. Enter in someone to save said little girl. Sprinkle in some fun chaos and voila. I like Sarah and I like Jess. Though some of the villains weren’t too big of a surprise there was one I didn’t see coming and that takes a bit.

I am not well versed on all things psychology, but Kenyon seemed to be fairly knowledgeable or at least he faked it really well. The man did his research and for that he gets a shiny gold star. Now if he could just change that scrunchie into just a simple elastic hairband I will be happy.

Overall, it’s a good book. Not as much of a horror as the description would suggest, but good. I wanted a bit more from it, but was also pleasantly surprised with what I was handed. From what I hear this is book one of a trilogy and I think I enjoyed it enough that I would probably pick up the other two. I was at least enamored enough that I went and decided to get his first novel, Bloodstone, from the library. Worth a gander.

3.25 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks

Have your own review? Let me know and I will post it.


thebonebreaker said...

NO WAY!! [I just, yesterday, read the back of this book in the bookstore - the cover had caught my eye]

I thought the exact same things that you stated in your review :-)

Glad to hear the book holds its own - perhaps I will pick it up one day. . .

Nate said...

Hi there--just stumbled across this review. Glad you enjoyed THE REACH, and I hope I have the chance to offer you the second novel I have planned in the trilogy, THE PSI GENE. I think you'll be surprised where I take the story. We'll see how THE REACH sells first...

Oh, and sorry about that scrunchie. :)

All the best,