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The Reach by Nate Kenyon
Read Time: 8 hrs
Young Sarah is no ordinary girl. She’s been diagnosed as schizophrenic and locked away in a children’s psychiatric ward. But that’s not what makes her special. She also has a very strange—and powerful—gift. Scientists have been studying Sarah’s remarkable psychic power for years, enhancing it, manipulating it…twisting it into something evil. But their plans have gone horribly wrong. How much longer can they control Sarah? And what will happen if her powers are unleashed?
The Reach is mainly told from the perspective of psychology graduate Jess Chambers, although the narrative is third person omnipotent with snippets from other characters sprinkled in. This creates a really nice depth later in the story without disrupting the flow. It’s like peeking behind the curtain of other characters’ motivations.
The overall feel of the novel is psychological thriller that never quite reaches horror status, but definitely involves some nasty gore towards the end. It focuses more on Jess and Sarah’s growing relationship and discovering that things aren’t exactly what they seem.
Character development is pretty solid in The Reach. Secondary characters are unique and serve a purpose. Even the small seemingly insignificant details play a role in setting the mood and emphasizing the theme.
This story has a very steady, almost lazy pace, with a noticeable repetition. The scenes tend to alternate between mental hospital visits with Sarah and college town restaurants with her professor or friend.
That being said, I found the pace really enjoyable. It’s not too slow, has a nice build up, no information dumps, and picks up a little at the end. This is one of those lazy, rainy-day reads. And has the perfect Fall/October atmosphere.
Aside from Jess describing herself in a mirror cliché, I genuinely have no complaints with this novel. And even that complaint is so minute and probably not noticeable by most readers.
*Side note: This novel gets two feminist thumbs up. It passes the Bechdel Test. And the author does a great job writing strong diverse female characters.
I highly recommend The Reach. It’s well written, nicely paced, and a decent story. The story is engaging and sets a nice mood if you’re looking for a not too spooky Halloween read.
Triple recommendations if you’re into psychology or genetics because there is a bit of science jargon. But no worries to the none lab geeks because everything is explained pretty clearly. Plus, they explain the science behind the magic! And I love when a novel can do that.
Definitely give The Reach a read this fall!
In case you missed out, last week I posted a reading list full of other magically Witchy Books for Halloween.
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