By: Heather Topham Wood
Publisher: Heather Topham Wood
Copyright Date: May 1, 2012
Genre: Fiction/YA Paranormal
Format: Trade paper, 228 pgs
Reason for Reading Disclosure: I was given a copy for review; however my thoughts and opinions are my own.
The Gist: From the back cover:
Two years ago, 21-year-old Kate Edwards became deathly ill and slipped into a coma. While unconscious, she crept into the mind of a missing boy and awoke with the knowledge of his location. Friends and family were skeptical and wary of her new ability to see into the minds of others. Their fears prompted Kate to keep her psychic powers a secret. Feeling alienated, she dropped out of college and spent most of her days holed up at her mother’s home.
Now another child has been abducted. Police detective Jared Corbett seeks out Kate for her help in solving the case. Reluctantly, Kate agrees and they must work together to bring 8-year-old Cori Preston home to her family. Although attracted to one another, Jared has a girlfriend with ties to the abduction case and Kate has been guarded since her coma. With visions she can’t control and an uncontrollable attraction to the detective, she wonders if she can leave the past behind and finally stop hiding from the world. Otherwise, Cori may be lost forever.
My Thoughts: First Visions has a solid storyline with a fairly quick pace and a sense of urgency to the action. Once lured into the story, I was engrossed enough to see it through. The problem isn’t with the story, or the plotting, or with Topham Woods’s writing, which is actually rather good. My problem was with the main character, Kate Edwards. She has a rich backstory and I wanted so much to root for her, but her behavior smacked more of a 15-year-old girl with virtually no life-experience than it did a traumatized 21-year-old fearful of her newly-discovered pyschic visions. Kate is…well, for lack of a better word, she’s a brat. There are some brief shining moments of an underlying wicked-funny personality, which kept me reading, but overall I felt like sitting her down and bringing her to a one-on-one meeting with her personal Lord and Savior.
In fairness to Ms. Topham Wood, Kate experiences a tremendous amount of personal growth throughout this first volume of her Second Sight series, and Kate’s brattiness gradually levels off to her inevitable personal epiphany, hopefully leading to a more mature herione in Book Two. Topham Wood is a really good writer and her supporting characters mostly shine. Everyone should have a mom like Kate’s, and Dreamboat Jared is definitely crush-worthy.
I don’t think First Visions is a home run, but it’s not a bad first outting-if anything, it shows that Heather Topham Wood has real potential as a storyteller.
Bottom Line: Might be willing to give Book Two a second and final chance, but Heather Topham Wood shows real promise. I hope she keeps writing.