By Kimberly Kinrade
Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy
(Ebook provided by the author for review)
Reviewed by Willa Kaye Danes, author at Penumbra Publishing
Sam is approaching her eighteenth birthday and looking forward to finally being able to live a normal life, go to college, and be on her own. But Sam is not ‘normal.’ She reads minds. This makes her a valuable asset to her employer she and her friends jokingly call Rent-A-Kid. The organization’s huge campus has every convenience to support its charges – including a high-security fence around the property. Sam’s only ventures outside the compound consist of her assignments where she is sent all over the world with bodyguards to do undercover work for people who pay handsomely for her unique skill as a mind-reader. But when she turns eighteen, she can stop working and get her earnings kept in a trust fund by Rent-A-Kid. At least, that’s what she’s been told for as long as she can remember. When Sam detects the mind of a boy on campus who is not one of the Rent-A-Kids, but has been kidnapped and drugged, she realizes everything she’s been told by Rent-A-Kid is a lie. She must escape and help her friends and Drake, but she’s unprepared to launch a coordinated escape plan by herself. Will Drake’s and her powers be enough to get the job done?
I really enjoyed this book. On the surface it may have seemed a bit short and a tad simplistic because it was easy to read and consisted of a lot of really short chapters. However, it was well written, fast-paced, and suspenseful as the kids try to find answers to nagging questions about their past and what is really going on at Rent-A-Kid. The characters were all well defined and individual enough to be believable. There was just enough romance to make it interesting, but the romance wasn’t the only focus of the story, as there was a sense of danger that affected all the characters. The concept of the Rent-A-Kid corporation was a cool idea, and reminded me a bit of Josh Whedon’s ‘Doll House’ TV series. There are some brief and vague references to child exploitation, and an issue with pregnancy; however these are handled quite well with no objectionable or graphic descriptions. This story is a good selection for older teen readers who like a bit of paranormal and a bit of romantic suspense, but can also be enjoyed by adults.
I give this a solid 4, preferably 4.5 out of 5.0 (reserving 5.0 for OMG this was fantastic), but since there are no half-point increments at most rating sites, I’ll leave it at 4.0 and recommend it, as I did enjoy it quite a bit. This book is obviously the first installment of a planned series.