Monday, August 5, 2013

Penumbra by Carolyn Haines

PenumbraThis was a mixture of mystery, horror, and historical fiction. Def. unique. It's ugly, dark, and suspenseful. My heart actually pounded double throughout the last quarter.

It's about how selfishness and greed destroy a karma can get sometimes love causes pain.

Jade is half white, half black. Her adopted father is the chauffeur/handyman for a wealthy white woman--her real mother. He's been in love with the witch for all his life...and his wife knows it, so Jade has been taught to never love, as it only leads to heartache. Her adopted mother loves her father, who loves the white woman, who doesn't love him back. It's a mess. So it's no wonder she has doubts about allowing herself to love Frank, the white deputy.

Meanwhile, people are being beaten up, raped, and chained in cabins around town. A girl is dead. Her father doesn't seem to care. A campsite of evil, depraved loggers is nearby with a chained up, naked woman...

With each page, I was not only immersed in history (5 cent cheese and cracker, 2 dollar gas...the clothing, the songs, the cars), but I felt the edge of a nasty darkness on each page...I knew bad things were about to happen.

This is real, solid literature. It scares you, makes you think, makes you fret, worry, and it doesn't  end with a cheesy, predictable HEA. Matter of fact, I hate the ending. HATE it. Oh, not because there's no HEA--that wasn't possible--but the heroine I liked so much throughout the book lost all my respect on the very last page. After generations of slavery and servitude, she has the chance to break that mold and becomes a slave instead. That's all I'm going to say. It totally disgusted me and that's why I'm not giving it a five. Oh--and well, I found some of the characters just plain dumb at times. I mean, your friend has been raped and left for dead and you still don't lock your doors????? Um... Also, the romance came out of nowhere. It was literally just two people staring at each other on a porch and suddenly they're tearing each other's clothes off. Though by the end, I was totally rooting for them.

Despite that stuff, I really enjoyed this story. I had a hard time putting it down. It's also very well-written. I'll be looking for more of this author's work.

Frank seeing dead people--really awesome twist.

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