ARC REVIEW: Trance – by Adam Southward

Title: Trance
Author: Adam Southward
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: July 1st 2019
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Finished reading: July 4th 2019
Pages: 332

“We understand so much, yet so little. Delving into people’s minds is an immature science, even for those of us who have studied it for years.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

myrambles1reviewqqq

I admit it was hook, line and sinker when I saw the cover of Trance and read the blurb. The promise of a dangerous character with the ability to control minds sounded absolutely fantastic, and there was no way I was going to be able to resist reading it. It might have been that I had set my expectations too high, because unfortunately I can’t say I was convinced by the story itself and I ended up having mixed thoughts. I still think the premise of this story is absolutely engrossing and probably the strongest aspect of this book. The suspect of this story, Victor Lazar, is a fascinatingly disturbing character; his mental ability makes this story step on the border of science fiction and paranormal activity and without doubt gives Trance a unique touch. As a result, it is hard to place Trance into a single genre and box, and instead we have an interesting mix of elements and storylines. It was especially fascinating to read more about Victor’s past and everything that happened in Romania. It might not be all that credible, but if you keep your mind open and don’t mind a sci-fi feel, you will find it to be an intriguing angle.

Now we arrive at one of the problems I had with Trance: the main character Alex Madison. On its own, I could really appreciate the psychology angle of this story. Instead of focusing on the crime and detective elements, Trance is more about trying to understand Victor Lazam and using psychology to analyze what goes on in his mind. The thing is… Alex basically is a spineless and despicable person; a pathetic whiner who is addicted to Xanax and an adulterer at that. I found the characters in general to be unlikeable, but my aversion to Alex made it very hard to keep invested in the story or care about what happened to them. Victor, disturbing as he was, at least made for an interesting character… Alex not so much. I also found part of the plot and character development to be rather unbelievable and this lack of credibility kind of put a damper on things. Things were too conveniently connected and the transition between different scenes and chapters wasn’t always all that fluid. I also struggled with the abrupt ending, and found the final scenes to be rather lacking. I still think the premise of Trance is simply captivating and the genre fluidity gave the story an unique touch, but sadly I ended up having mixed thoughts about the execution.


signature

You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. InstagramFacebookBloglovin’.

WWW Wednesdays #230 – July 10th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m finally reading Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens! It’s still early days as I wanted to finish my Spanish Harry Potter read first, but I have high hopes for this one. I’m also starting my Criminally Good book club read The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven and I’m so excited to be finally reading this story!

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews (5/5 stars) REVIEW 12/07
This title was one of my most anticipated releases this year and I can say it has without doubt lived up to expectations. What an absolutely wonderful and heartbreaking read! You will want to clear your schedule for this little gem, because once you meet the main characters Sam, Moxie and Avery you will find yourself unable to say goodbye to them and stop reading. The writing style is engaging and wonderful; the characters and their descriptions are likewise excellently done. There is just something about Sam, Moxie and Avery that made them win over my heart almost immediately, and my heart ached for them as their story slowly revealed itself.

2. Trance by Adam Southward (2,5/5 stars) REVIEW 11/07
I admit it was hook, line and sinker when I saw the cover of Trance and read the blurb. The promise of a dangerous character with the ability to control minds sounded absolutely fantastic, and there was no way I was going to be able to resist reading it. It might have been that I had set my expectations too high, because unfortunately I can’t say I was convinced by the story itself and I ended up having mixed thoughts.

3. Ivory And Bone by Julie Eshbaugh (2,5/5 stars) REVIEW 18/07
Despite the mixed reviews I decided to give this story a chance anyway, mostly because I don’t come across pre-historic settings that often and the premise sounded fascinating. I still think the pre-historic timeframe is the most interesting aspect of this story, and I don’t think I would have made it to the last page without it. Oh yes, sadly I belong to the group that didn’t react well to Ivory And Bone. A lot of my reaction to the story has to do with the fact that part of it is told from a second person POV. I had forgotten how much I despised this technique and I only refrained from DNFing because thankfully it was only used when Kol was talking about or interacting with Mya. Apart from the POV, I found the plot of Ivory And Bone to be rather dull and uneventful during mosty of the story.

4. The Silent Ones by K.L. Slater (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 23/07
I think most will know by now I’m a huge fan of Kim Slater‘s psychological thrillers and when I saw she had a second new title coming out this year I might have squeeled a little. Of course I couldn’t resist this title for long, and I can say that this story is without doubt another winner. What a read! The writing is just as brilliant as always and draws you right in; the plot itself is fascinating. The Silent Ones is basically a family focused psychological thriller with a dramatic twist and a LOT of secrets that will keep you on your toes. I admit I saw part of the final reveals coming, but it cannot be denied that it was a brilliant way of turning around the story completely.

5. House Of Furies by Madeleine Roux (4/5 stars) REVIEW 18/07
I loved her Asylum series and I’ve been wanting to read more of her work ever since… And this one was definitely another success for me. I LOVED the 1810 setting in the Coldthistle House and the creepiness of it all. The writing was engaging and made me fly through this story… This would definitely make a perfect Halloween read and I’m already looking forward to read the sequel.

6. Harry Potter Y La Orden Del Fénix by J.K. Rowling (3,5/5) NO REVIEW
I finally finished my Spanish reread of the fifth Harry Potter book! I had forgotten just how much I despised Umbridge and she is definitely one of the main reasons book five is my least favorite of the series. The fact that Harry is constantly angry and shouting at everyone can get a little frustrating as well… Still, I always love visiting Harry Potter’s world and I’m already looking forward to reread the next book in Spanish. It will probably be a few months before I do so though…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m reading this month’s blog tour read The Closer I Get by Paul Burston next as my blog tour stop is coming up… I can’t wait to read it, as I’ve heard lots of fantastic things about the story already. I also need to read the ARC Along The Broken Bay by Flora J. Solomon soon… The WWII historical fiction setting in the Philippines sounds fascinating. Also, I’m finally going to pick up my copy of The Silent Patient by MichAlex Michaelides!! Fingers crossed I won’t get an unpopular opinion review for this one. My newest TBR jar pick is still The Cellar by Natasha Preston.


signature

You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. Bloglovin’.

WWW Wednesdays #229 – July 3rd

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m finally reading my copy of The Boy Who Steals Houses by fellow book blogger C.G. Drews! I have superhigh expectations for this one and I’m not sure my heart is ready for this story. xD I’m also starting another pending ARC: Trance by Adam Southward. And my Spanish reread of the fifth Harry Potter book Harry Potter Y La Orden Del Fénix. is going pretty well as I’m about a third into the story now… Not bad considering it has almost 900! pages haha.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Jar Of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier (4/5 stars) REVIEW 07/07
I definitely understand the love for this story now. What a twisted and fascinating ride! While it’s true that there were a few minor things that prevented me from handing out the full five stars, there is no denying that both the premise and plot itself are absolutely brilliant. There is nothing ordinary about Jar Of Hearts and you will have to brace yourself for a very intense ride.

2. The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout (2/5 stars) REVIEW 07/07
WARNING: unpopular opinion ahead. There is a reason I’ve been posponing my first meeting with Jennifer L. Armentrout‘s books, and it has a lot to do with the fact that a combination contemporary romance AND a hyped book is normally a sign of trouble for me.

3. The Victim by Max Manning (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 08/07
The premise of this story is fascinating, where we follow two alternative storylines based on the decision of the main character Gem to fight or surrender during an attack. It definitely makes for an unique read, although things can get confusing as we not only have to keep apart two different versions of Gem’s story, but also other characters. While at all times it is specified which storyline you’re reading (fight or surrender), it is kind of hard to keep track of which event belongs to what storyline and it takes away some of the reading pleasure. It’s very original though!

4. The Broken Ones by Sarah A. Denzil (3/5 stars) REVIEW 12/07
I was looking forward to The Broken Ones, but while I finished it in record time, I have to say I ended up having mixed thoughts about this story. It’s a super quick read and the plot as a whole is quite interesting, but I had serious issues with the main characters (couldn’t stand them for different reasons) and some plot twists were quite farfetched. I also saw one of the big twists coming quite early on… All in all not my favorite.

5. Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie (3,5/5 stars) NO REVIEW
I won’t be writing a full review for this short story collection, but what I can say is that I always enjoy my time with Hercule Poirot and his investigation methods. I was craving another Hercule Poirot story after watching The Murder On The Orient Express movie again the other day, and this short story collection did the trick. I’m looking forward to read another full story again soon though! I’ve heard The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd is excellent, so I’l be looking forward to pick it up soon.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I have a few ARCs left that are pending in July and August and The Silent Ones by K.L. Slater is up next. I can’t wait to read this one! I also still want to read House Of Furies by Madeleine Roux soon… And I’m in the mood for historical fiction, so I’ll probably pick up Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens as well. My newest TBR jar pick is still The Cellar by Natasha Preston.


signature

You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. Bloglovin’.