There are few books that make me shudder because the writing is that good and because the story is that chilling. Drawn is one of those books.
I started reading Drawn because it was part of a very large to-be-read pile on my e-reader. Knowing I had so many books to read, I went to the beginning of my list and decided to start reading in reverse order. The book downloaded the earliest was where I was going to start.
Well, I got a nice, if not super creepy surprise with this one.
What makes Drawn different is that it mixes up characters you truly (and heart-wrenchingly) feel sorry for with bad guys who are truly (and I mean truly) bad. You want to see the hurt, damaged guy win. You want to see the pained woman move on from her anguish. You want to see the father come to terms with what happened to his missing son. But the book also adds in a riveting paranormal angle that locks all the characters, and their stories, together. I’ll admit to some confusion at first as to why James Hankin (the author) gives us snippets into seemingly different characters with different goals. But through the paranormal, and a very deft writing hand, we eventually discover there’s a connection. Had the storytelling not been that good, I would have given up after the first four or five chapters. But I hung in there only to discover a real gem, and boy was I glad I did.
So here’s the deal: we have Alice who, for some reason, keeps sketching scenes with the same boy in them. It doesn’t matter what her canvas, the boy keeps reappearing and it’s someone she’s never met. Boone is a handsome guy disfigured from a horrible car accident and who is now almost completely blind, and whose apartment suddenly becomes haunted. Then there’s Nathan, an older man desperate to find his military son who disappeared years ago, and Miguel, a young boy met by misfortune that is a result of his abusive past and a life now spent on the streets.
I know. It sounds awfully heart-tugging, but that’s what makes this book so terrific. Hankin takes these very lonely, very damaged people, throws them into a paranormal pot, and cooks a tale that brings them together in a most unusual way. By the time you’re halfway through the novel and heading into the climax, the storylines are so interwoven – and so desperate and dark – you just can’t put the book down because you absolutely have to know what happens next. From there, you live through horror holding onto the hope that somehow the good guys will win. That somehow humanity will finally show its good side and save them all. That somehow good can trump evil – even with help from a dimension on The Other Side.
It’s a riveting treat that will steal your breath away and leave you speechless by the time you reach the end. Which, of course, I can’t tell you.
Drawn is not for readers looking for light-hearted or airy or fun. It’s also not for those looking for straight supernatural or paranormal suspense. More than that, it’s not for the squeamish. But if you’re open to a damn good ride, solid storytelling, and characters that jump off the page screaming Help Me!, this is the one for you.
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