Saturday, August 8, 2015

Book Review: Tainted Energy by Lynn Vroman



 For seventeen-year-old Lena, living in the trailer park with the rest of town's throwaways isn't exactly paradise. Dealing with a drunken father who can't keep his fists to himself doesn't help matters either. The only good thing in her life, other than track, is the mysterious man who visits her dreams, promising to find her.

When a chair burns her arms, Lena chalks it up to stress-induced crazy. Yet as bizarre incidents escalate, even being crazy can't explain it all away... until one day dream guy does find her.

Tarek lost Lena seventeen years ago after she was accused of treason and marked Tainted. He finally discovers her reborn on Earth into a life of suffering as punishment for her crime. However, someone else has already found her... and wants her dead. Willing to sacrifice everything, he fights to keep her safe so she can live the only life she's ever known--even if that life doesn't include him.






I won an ecopy of this book during the online release party for Kingdom From Ashes. I have to admit, I went back and forth on this book a lot. Had I not won it, I might not have picked it up on my own. The cover is enticing, but I'm just kinda over the whole "mysterious man who visits me in my dreams" thing. But this series and author came highly recommended so I was excited to start it.

I really appreciate strong side characters, and Tainted Energy has that with Wilma - a seemingly unimportant lunch lady and Jake - Lena's boss/friend. I love the relationship Lena has with each of them and it is well illustrated.The love story could have used more. It is a unique situation where Lena doesn't remember her paramour from another life, but Tarek, the mysterious dream man, has been spending every waking moment of two decades searching for her. It's hard to really understand why they love each other without more of a background. A flashback or two might have helped with this. I would have really enjoyed some sort of window into their past. I'm hoping for that with the next books. 

More than anything else, I was sucked into the dynamic of Lena and her dysfunctional family. For anyone who grew up in a troubled home, especially a trailer, this story may sting a bit. It was easy to look at Lena as just a normal, relate-able teenager and feel for her mother, a battered housewife. I was genuinely afraid whenever her father was in a scene and looked forward to see how things would turn out. Personally, the story could have focused mostly on the trailer park and I would have loved it. Once other dimensions are introduced, the book looses me a bit. It's very Sci-Fi, which I usually adore, but the information of how Energies and worlds work was a lot to take in. I kept getting confused on the difference between a Protector and a Guide. I don't fault the author so much for this however, as I read a lot of this book with an 18 month old in my lap who happens to be fascinated with the squishyness of my eyeballs. When I got to the ending I found a glossary explaining these terms more clearly. It's very helpful. I recommend the reader glance at this periodically.

And speaking of endings, this is a great one. I love Vroman's writing and voice, but was frustrated with keeping up with the different worlds and their environments. The ending is what really pushed Tainted Energy from a 3.5 rating to a solid 4. (VAGUE SPOILERS) I was very happy with the fact that it's not all gift wrapped but still leaves you with a sense of closure. Lena doesn't spend time pouting because things didn't turn out perfect. She has way too much life happening to spend all her time worrying about a boy. She just holds on to her hope that they will find each other again and moves on. I'm proud of her. This is a series, after all, so I've no doubt they will.

If you're a fan of Sci-Fi and long lost love, this book is for you. Book 3, Fractured Energy, recently hit stores and Book 4, the conclusion to the Energy Series is in the works.

4 Stars
      * * * *      


 This book is currently free in the Kindle store


No comments:

Post a Comment