Customer Reviews: Seconds Away (Book Two): A Mickey Bolitar Novel
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on September 20, 2012
Harlen Coben used to be a terrific author however, since the theme has been switched to Myron Bolitar's nephew, Mickey, his books are at best avoidable It appears as though Conen's new approach is for quantity rather than quality a la Stuart Woods and James Patterson. This book has very little substance and read like a book one would find in a high school library. Save your $ for Childs, Thor or Flynn!
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VINE VOICEon September 27, 2012
SECONDS AWAY is the second young adult novel by Harlen Coben. It features Mickey Bolitar, the nephew of the great Myron Bolitar, once again at the center of murder, deceit and mystery.

This book is a sequel to SHELTER, and while you probably don't have to read that book to enjoy this one, it sure would help, because it picks up almost exactly where the first book left off. The Bat Lady, the old crazy woman everyone fears, hooked Mickey by telling him his father may still be alive in the first book. In this book, Mickey is still trying to recall the circumstances around the car wreck that killed his father and who exactly was the paramedic that helped his father at the scene? Did he have ties to Nazis? Could his father still be alive? Who is the shaved head man, and what is his agenda. What is the true purpose of the Aboena Shelter? All of these questions are carry-overs from the first novel.

The central mystery of this novel is Rachel, who is wounded in a gunfight which also takes the life of her mother. What happened to Rachel? That question consumes the lives of Mickey and his Goth, overweight friend Ema and nerdy intellectual Spoon. We learn a little more about Ema and this book, and this fresh cast of characters if refreshing, even if Myron is still very much involved. In fact, Wynn is referred to as are events between Myron and Mickey's dad that are covered in Coben's adult novels.

Coben writes with the ease and comfort who knows he's in it for the long haul. He has the skill as a writer to keep the pages turning, the reader entertained, while at the same time throwing out a lot more story than actually what is in the book. In other words, there are PLENTY of new plot threads available for the next book.

When you get down to it, the mystery of Rachel is quite simple. But Coben easily mixes in intrigue with the struggles of high school and Mickey's love for basketball and the fear of not fitting in.

Coben fans should love this book. It is standard Coben fare with a lot of twists and mysteries. More than any of his adult books, this novel leaves so much story to be addressed in future books. I like Mickey and his friends and his world of high school and high stakes intrigue is a lot of fun.
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on June 21, 2014
I do not understand the negative reviews for this novel. For those mature readers who expected another Myron Bolitar adventure, you should remember this is a young adult novel written about a 15 year old protagonist. It wasn't written for the Myron audience, but for the new and engaged Mickey readers. Lighten up.

This is a great and suspenseful younger reader suspense and adventure romp. It is nuanced enough to hold the interest of a mature reader like myself, but I am not the target audience. I believe that such an action packed novel, with no adult language or sexuality, and very little actual violence is a lot like a new generational Nancy Drew. Can it stand as a timeless piece of fiction? Of course not. Can it engage and involve younger readers and encourage their pursuit of pleasure reading? It sure can! I am delighted to highly recommend this novel.
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on September 30, 2012
Action, suspense and just enough humor to keep you turning the pages!  Mickey and his friends solve one mystery but open up a pandora's box of new questions.  Will Mickey ever find out what happened to his father?  I will be waiting for the next installment to discover the answer to that question.
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on February 25, 2014
My husband and I are both fans of Harlan Coben, especially his Myron Bolitar series. This, billed as a young adult book, involves Mickey, a teenager and orphaned nephew of Myron's. You don't have to be a YA to enjoy this book.
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on October 6, 2012
This novel was as great as the last Mickey Bolitar. The story had so many ups and downs, twists and turns I was afraid to put it down in case another thing happened while I wasn't paying attention. I CANNOT wait for the next Mickey story. The end leaves me very curious about the next story, and where it leads. This is a complex, well characterized, exciting novel. Amazing. Hmmm, wonder if we will ever see Uncle Myron's friend, Win join in the fun?
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VINE VOICEon June 29, 2015
Mickey, along with his friends Spoon and Ema, is trying to find out who shot their friend Rachel. Mickey is also still dealing with questions about his father's recent death, his mother's hospitalization for drug addiction, and his new relationship with his Uncle Myron. Throw in his adjustment to a new school and trying out for the basketball team and you have an action-packed adventure.

I liked the relationship between the kids. Spoon is quite a nerdy character but both Mickey and Ema accept him as he is. He is also very observant and comes up with some of the needed clues to solve the main mystery in this story. Unfortunately, he gets shot in this one and is still in serious condition at the end of the story. I need the next book to find out his fate.

I also liked Mickey's relationship with Ema. He considers her his best friend despite the fact the he doesn't know anything about her home life or even if she has a home. I can understand his hurt feelings when he does learn some of Ema's secrets.

The bigger mystery - all about the Abeona Shelter and what they are doing - is left unsolved in this story. Again, I hope the next book will answer some of those questions.

Fans of mysteries with teen detectives will enjoy the Mickey Bolitar series and may even want to read some of the Myron Bolitar mysteries.
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on July 7, 2014
Pretty much the only book my 8th grade son has said he enjoyed. Said it "related to him". Anything that can get him away from video games gets 5 stars from me. I read it as well and it was actually well written, not condescending as some young adult books tend to be, and kept my attention the whole way through. Great second YA book by this author.
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on October 30, 2012
SECONDS AWAY is Harlan Coben's second YA novel and is an improvement on his first book in the Mickey Bolitar series.

In this novel, Coben does a fair job of easing the pain caused by unbelievable plot twists from the previous book, SHELTER.

Making a story both believable (at least to some small degree) and a great, fast-paced read is a highly challenging balance. Even though he does a better job of it this time around, Coben still fails to convince. The plot is more credible than SHELTER, but not by much. The Mickey Bolitar character, however, is much better developed in this book than in the first.

SECONDS AWAY is a fun read and an entertaining page-turner, even if you're not that into the young adult genre, but it doesn't quite meet the standard Coben fans have come to expect over the years.
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on September 19, 2012
First let me say that I had looked forward to a new Harlan Coben release. However, the book has turned out to be really bad. It is disjointed and confusing, referencing events that should have been in the book but weren't. I had to go back to the beginning to see if I missed a chapter or something.

Don't waste your money. The book is just awful!
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