- File Size: 929 KB
- Print Length: 412 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1540567273
- Publisher: Jennifer Bull (June 21, 2017)
- Publication Date: June 21, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07337BR79
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,330,683 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$12.99|
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Dead Close to Reality (Sandman Academy Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 412 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
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Dead Close to Reality bears many of the hallmarks of a YA mystery/thriller, e.g., young protagonist, largely missing or ineffectual adults (unless they are villains of course), little or no sex. But this book goes a bit farther on violence than I consider typical. That’s not to say it was graphic, but violence was frequent and often intense. If you’re looking for a somewhat more ‘physical’ YA yarn, this one will fit nicely.
The pacing was good, although the author did repeat some themes a bit much. Cora’s complaints about a ‘nuisance’ male friend, Derek, was an example. But overall, the story flowed well and held my attention to the end. As for character development, Cora represented a strong, intelligent, and independent female, all great qualities. But there is a fine line between strong and headstrong for no reason, and Cora’s unwillingness to trust anyone became somewhat tedious. If her self-reliance had succeeded, it might have made more sense. But the author used frequent reversals of fortune to keep tension high, making me wish Cora had used more of her intellect to discover her real friends and develop better plans. She was likeable as seat-of-the-pants gutsy and tough, but not much of a tactician or strategist.
The main factor that kept me from becoming fully immersed, however, was the lack of attention to making the story seem real, or at least near-future real, rather than just ignoring implausibility for plot convenience. There was something like a half-dozen deaths connected to the game, but there was no public outcry. There was no media frenzy. There was hardly any police presence. And at one point, 20-30 people were being held against their will in a cave, but an individual connected with law enforcement told Cora she had to hang on until he could get enough evidence for a conviction. Huh? Simply put, the story lacked the confluence of tragic coincidence or unforeseen circumstances that the best authors find to tie your stomach in a knot, rather than make you scratch your head.
Overall, the story has some holes and a heroine that could often use her smarts to better effect, but it’s still a tense, physical plot in a well-paced read.
This novel was unique and refreshing, a fun twist to a young adult genre that sometimes gets overlooked. Ms. Bull has a knack for creating tension that makes you wonder who the heroine can trust, if anyone. Solidly written, her characters leap off the page, especially Derek who needed way more coverage in the book (simply because I'm a romantic and I eat that up). There's a couple of shocking moments that keep the reader riveted.
One of the best parts of the book is the modern twist on technology and gaming which should appeal to a broad young adult audience. Very enjoyable overall and I look forward to a sequel (at least I hope there is more to come!) I highly recommend to all ages. 5 stars!
It is a young adult thriller with a good amount of humour woven in. The characters and the plot are well developed and there are some exciting twists along the way. As with Jennifer's other stories, it is fast paced and well written.
All in all, a very enjoyable read. I am looking forward to the second book to have some more adventures with Cora and Dakota and find out what happens next.