Friday, August 3, 2012

Travis Thrasher's "Temptation"

Solitary, North Carolina, can be one creepy place. And dangerous. And it’s getting worse for a 17-year-old boy recently moved there from Chicago.

The pastor at the big mega-church is anything but a Christian. The big man in town seems to run things from his rural estate/fortress. The police department may, or may not, be in the pocket of the powers that be. And then there are the visions, the haunting, the voices in the night, and the secret tunnels.

Life is tough enough for 17-year-old Chris Buckley, newly transplanted from Chicago with his divorced mother. But every time he gets interested in a girl, she disappears. Or dies.

Solitary is not a normal place, And it tunes out that Chris Buckley is not a normal teenager. Only he doesn’t know it. Yet.

Travis Thrasher’s Temptation, the third in the series of four Solitary novels, is officially a YA (young adult) novel, but it’s just as readable (and interesting) for OAs (older adults) (I just made that up). Thrasher has managed to suystain the pace and suspense of the first two books, Solitary and Gravestone, and create a satisfying, if often terrifying, read.

The strength of Temptation and its series novels is in the voice of the main character, Chris. He talks, acts and thinks like a teenager. The writing is also a particular strength – spare and lean, keeping the reader moving through the story at a fast and easy pace.

Chris is plagued by doubts and confusion, part of the normal trauma of growing to adulthood and partly fueled by his parents’ divorce. He finds himself increasingly estranged from his mother, who is tipping over into alcoholism. His most immediate concern is relief from the pressures f his life, but the powers of Solitary – and they are dark powers – have very definite plans for Chris.

The Solitary series has had a dark, foreboding feel from the beginning. In Temptation, the evil design at the back of everything is gradually unfolding and becoming more clear. The temptation of the title is the choice Chris faces – to fight or succumb to what he’s been told is his destiny. His decision is by no means obvious.

Travis Thrasher has produced another great read.


My review of Solitary.

My review of Gravestone.

Travis Thrasher’s web site.

Travis Thrasher’s blog, The Journey Is Everything.


Louise Gallagher said...

And you've done it again! made my summer book pile grow...

Laura said...

This OA loves to read those YA novels! Honestly, though, Glynn, I don't know how you have time to read all these books! I am dreaming of a day when all I need do is read...and write. And run. And maybe take a cooking class. And photography. And painting...and...

S. Etole said...

I wonder if this is a series my 14-yr. old grandson would enjoy.