John “Smoke” Conlan is serving time for two murders but he wasn’t the one who murdered his English teacher, and he never intended to kill the only other witness to the crime. A dangerous juvenile rehabilitation center in Denver, Colorado, known as the Y, is Smoke’s new home and the only one he believes he deserves.
But, unlike his fellow inmates, Smoke is not in constant imprisonment. After a near death experience leaves him with the ability to shed his physical body at will, Smoke is able to travel freely outside the concrete walls of the Y, gathering information for himself and his fellow inmates while they’re asleep in their beds. Convinced his future is only as bright as the fluorescent lights in his cell, Smoke doesn’t care that the “threads” that bind his soul to his body are wearing thin-that one day he may not make it back in time. That is, until he meets Pink, a tough, resourceful girl who is sees him for who he truly is and wants to help him clear his name.
Now Smoke is on a journey to redemption he never thought possible. With Pink’s help, Smoke may be able to reveal the true killer, but the closer they get to the truth, the more deadly their search becomes. The web of lies, deceit, and corruption that put Smoke behind bars is more tangled than they could have ever imagined. With both of their lives on the line, Smoke will have to decide how much he’s willing to risk, and if he can envision a future worth fighting for.
Wow. I don’t even know where to begin. It was nearly phenomenal. There’s only one thing that set it back to 4.5 stars. But I’ll get to those later.
I don’t know why I thought this was contemporary, it wasn’t a bummer at all, I quite enjoyed the paranormal element. Maybe I requested it before the synopsis was completed? I don’t remember the synopsis being long..I don’t know.
Anyway, the cover is AMAZING. Love, love, love it. One thing this book does extremely well, is draw out the clues. Most writers either make it painfully uncomplicated, or others tease you without giving you anything (and thus losing reader interest.) Holding Smoke had the perfect balance of the two.
We all know that the story of Smoke’s two murders, aren’t going to be what they seem. It definitely delivered on it’s potential in this area. The periodic flashbacks give you cracker crumbs of information. All of it adding up in the end perfectly. BEAUTIFULLY.
Another thing done well, was the surprise at the end. I LEGIT didn’t see it coming. I mean, I knew something was coming. I knew it couldn’t be what the natural assumption would be, but it still surprised me. FANTASTIC. I LOVE IT when authors do that.
I also love how dark it was. Perfect. The events just kept crawling into darker and darker corners.
Smoke trades information for favors. His gift allows him to see things no one else could. I loved watching him work out the information. I loved the system which he got requests from. I mean, what could be more perfect than library books?
Smoke has an incredibly strong sense of karma. He believes in equivalent exchange. I thought this was a nice texture for the character, and it served as the backbone for the novel.
When Smoke unknowingly tips the balance, is when the plot really gets rolling. The information flow and scenes escalated in tension and importance.
The ending, was the pinnacle. That’s somewhat rare in novels these days. There are clear points of conflict and resolution in all of them, of course. What I’m talking about, is that there is no up and down for the plot. Not necessarily. It goes up almost to the very end.
Unfortunately, that was the one single place this book failed for me. I think that an open ending would have been awesome. Letting the reader wonder what choice Smoke would make.
But instead, we learn of his choice immediately. And while I didn’t disagree with his choice, I felt like it made the novel end in a fizzle instead of a bang. Still, it was a thrilling and highly enjoyable ride. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for an exciting, thrilling read
This tour was hosted by Irish Banana!