About Coleen M. Story
Colleen M. Story writes imaginative fiction and is also a freelance writer, instructor, and motivational speaker specializing in creativity, productivity, and personal wellness. Her latest novel, “Loreena’s Gift,” was released with Dzanc Books April 12 2016. Her fantasy novel, “Rise of the Sidenah,” is a North American Book Awards winner, and New Apple Book Awards Official Selection (Young Adult). She is the founder of Writing and Wellness (writingandwellness.com) a motivational site for writers and other creatives. Visit the author’s website or connect with her on Twitter.
About the book
A blind girl’s terrifying “gift” allows her to regain her eyesight—but only as she ferries the recently deceased into the afterlife.
Loreena Picket thinks she knows herself. A blind young woman who lives with her uncle, a reverend at a small-town church, she’s a dutiful niece and talented pianist for the congregation. But they’re both hiding a terrible secret. Loreena can kill people with the touch of her hand.
While her uncle sees her as an angel of mercy, helping usher the terminally ill members of his flock into the afterlife, Loreena has her doubts. Torn between doing her uncle’s bidding and the allure of the fleeting moments when her eyesight returns on the journey to the other side, Loreena cooperates with her uncle until her troubled older brother returns to town. When she reveals her power by saving him from a local drug dealer, she is drawn into a sinister and dangerous world that will test the true nature of her talent and force her to consider how far she is willing to go to survive.
An exciting debut that crosses fantasy and literary fiction, Loreena’s Gift is a thought-provoking meditation on life and death and what ultimately lies beyond this world.
Whatever you may think of any of her books, Colleen M. Story is an excellent writer, at least when it comes to Loreena’s Gift. It is a very well written book with absolutely great quality writing from the first page. The flow is impeccable, I didn’t detect even the whiff of a plot hole or details that seemed off—and those things really bug me when they do appear in a book. The pace is non-stop throughout; pages turn without you noticing and, concomitantly, the clock ticks forward and you realise you’ve been up most of the night. Trigger alert: there is a rape scene in the book which I skipped—I always skip such scenes and thankfully this one was easy to see coming. On a side note, how does one give such a trigger alert without spoiling a book? On the one hand, I’m not saying anything about the who and the context but then again, I am mentioning something that happens—but I feel it is important for readers to know about such content beforehand.
The paranormal aspect of the Loreena’s Gift offers a way for the author to examine the concept of life after death. Now of course we can’t expect to ever know what it is about until we are there ourselves. But the author’s vision of the next world as one each creates for their own selves is a very interesting one indeed. In this world of ours, we definitely do define our own world by the every day decisions that we make. Is it so far of a stretch to think that something similar is happening with regards to the next world, the one waiting for us when we pass on from this world? Using the analogy of a baby in its mother’s womb passing on from the “womb world” into our world, whatever “reality” the baby has created in the womb—whatever limbs and organs it has developed to the peak of perfection will serve to make his physical life in this world either heavenly or hellish. So perhaps when we are good people in this world, we are doing the same—we are developing our qualities and virtues to the peak of perfection that will serve to make our life in the next world heavenly. This seems to be the idea that the author is tapping into with her version of the afterlife.
Whether you are looking for an easy read to take to the beach or a profound one, Colleen M. Story provides both options in Loreena’s Gift. The story itself is at times a heart-pounding thriller in which survival is dependent at times on nothing more than a very thin thread. Combined with the grace of her writing and the profound concepts touched upon, Loreena’s Gift is a must-read.
Thank you to iReads Book Tours for providing a
copy of this book for me to review!