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Unexplained (Higher Elevation Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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This canyon was the site of a strange vision that Sarah has (while accidentally under the influence of drugs) of a nude man, glowing blue at times, that suddenly swan-dives off a cliff. But no dead body is ever found. Shrugging off this bizarre incident, Sarah and Zac investigate reports of unexplained phenomena to the west of campus, and she hears tales of glowing lights, voices, and even animal mutilations. But as the duo continues the investigation, she focuses on an abandoned facility that seems to be obsessively guarded by county deputies.
She meets Christian (Chris) Levine, who is teaching a meditation class, and finally realizes that he is the nude man that she saw jump off the cliff. Their growing romantic attachment and deeper involvement in crystals and psychic abilities do not disguise the fact that they are both caught in the web of a sinister conspiracy and decades-old government experiments.
The book does deal with astral projections and other psychic manifestations, but there are no witches, goblins, zombies or other creepies. There are graphic sexual encounters, so this might not be the book for those that like such things to be hinted at and not explicitly detailed. There are some “F-Bombs” but this is by no means erotic literature.
Things I liked: Renee Regent’s prose captured the time and locale. She has a good understanding of the place of narrative and dialogue and uses both well. The editing is good, and I did not notice typos or grammatical errors. The plot flowed smoothly and was exciting, with good pacing and some interesting plot twists. It was a pleasant read for me.
Things I Did Not Like: A couple of plot items seemed a bit far-fetched. I was willing to suspend disbelief about astral projection, even though this seems unlikely in the real world. But I was a bit startled at the thought of a boy and girl having an out-of-body experience and their astral bodies copulating with each other. This might be a first in literature, at least it was a first for me. Perhaps it was a bit more than my mind could boggle. The plot involved a kidnapping by agents of a foreign power, and this seemed to me to be more than a little unlikely, and very hard to pull off. If the author wished to use this idea, she should have done more to make it plausible. There was also a mention of a cave full of crystals, apparently left there by an ancient American Indian tribe. That also seemed to be a sloppy plot device, since I don’t think anyone has ever found such a thing, and it was not needed. Chris could have simply found a crystal, and there was no need to invent a fabulous myth to account for it.
But I must say that the positive aspects of the book far out-weighed the negatives. I don’t think this is a book for young adults. But for a mature audience who would enjoy some speculative fiction, this is definitely a book to consider.
Chris is immediately attracted to Sarah. He can't explain why he can't stop thinking about her. They go through all the normal new relationship issues except for the fact that there is a psychic element in the mix. They both have secrets that they are keeping so that makes for interesting challenge in trust. But their chemistry is amazing and keeps them coming back together.
Sarah also has a story line with Zach, her best friend. Zach is a photographer and they are on a story together. They are trying to figure out all of the strange gossip in town and if there is any truth to the psychic phenomenon that is going on.
Chris has a story line with Dr. Engle and Ridgebock. Both are using him for something. Dr. Engle for scientific curiosity and Ridgebock to get rich.
The story lines are independent of each other and they are carefully woven together and lead to an exciting ending. The beginning took a while to set up each character so at times it seemed long. About half way through I became really invested in Sarah and Chris's story and had to see how the different characters were going to come together. Unexplained is a great start to this series and it will be interesting to see where Renee Regent takes these characters.
I was given this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I liked the characters. Sarah is the lead female. She is a Journalism student at Fort Winston University. She is a skeptic of anything unexplained. When unexplainable reports keep popping up, she is determined to get a story for the school's paper.
Chris is a Psychology major. He is extremely interested in Parapsychology and the many different things it involves. There is much more to Chris than meets the eye.
This book is filled with adventure, mystery and romance. It is a paranormal book, but not in the way of witches, vampires or shifters. Paranormal in the sense of things that happen everyday, but there are no concrete answers to, at least not without further research. It was a fun book to read, and I look forward to reading more in the series.
Review for Mommy's Naughty Playground
I think this series has a lot of potential to take off and be a great series. The storyline is interesting and different and that what makes the story a good story. I just couldn’t figure out what it was missing. It did lose me a little but not so much as I couldn’t get back on track. It held me to a point and that is why I cant wait to see what happen in the second book