February 4, 2014
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** See my review of Fracture here - Vengeance review and/or synopsis contain Fracture spoilers**
Nobody really believes in a curse. Until you know the people who disappear. Too much coincidence, you look for reason. Too much death, you grasp for something to blame. Carson pulled Delaney out and he died on the side of the road with her mouth pressed to his. Her air in his body. Troy. She told the cops it was suicide. Didn't matter. The lake released her and grabbed another. But when Decker's father dies in a pool of spilled water on their kitchen floor, all Decker can feel is a slow burning rage. Because he knows that Delaney knew that his dad was going to die. She knew and backed out of his house and never said a word. Falcon Lake still has a hold on them both, and Decker can't forgive Delaney until he knows why.
While I remembered that I really enjoyed Fracture, as well as the more major aspects of the novel, I knew there was quite a lot of it that I had forgotten. Luckily, when it came to reading Megan Miranda's Vengeance, the follow-up to Fracture, that was okay. Events from Fracture played a very significant role in Vengeance but were explained enough that even if their mention didn't bring back the memory, there was enough detail you didn't need to remember. Though, you could possibly get by not reading Fracture, I definitely recommend reading it before this second novel.
Not only is Fracture a fantastic novel, it gives a great introduction to the characters, who they are, and what their relationships with each other when everything all starts. It's the foundation upon which Vengeance is built.
Told from Decker's point-of-view, Vengeance is even more about the aftermath of Delaney's accident on the lake - more importantly, possibly, the aftermath of her recovery. That she has survived is a given here, as is the knowledge she seems to have of when someone's going to die. It's the deaths that occurred in Fracture -- those of Decker and Delaney's friends -- paralleled by Delaney's survival that are affecting everyone now. Why did she survive and they died? It brings talk of a curse.
From anger, to blame, to confusion, the different sides of grief come into play. It affects lifelong friendships, with lines that seem ready to be drawn. Whether the characters themselves necessarily want to make those divisions or not.
The introduction of new characters, along with another death and more incidents that seem related to the lake add a new level to the story. While the characters are all working to sort out how they all fit together now with the loss of their friends who died, life is also working to complicate matters further. There's the 'curse' that no one seems sure if they believe in - and with some events seeming to lend credence to it, readers won't be sure if they do, either.
The new character who becomes most involved in the story was hard to really pin down. It was hard to get a true grasp of who they really were. It was also hard to know, while reading, whether that was due to who their character was, what they were dealing with, or if the author had written them a bit ambiguously for other reasons.
Though there is mystery around just what is happening to the characters and who or what is causing it, there was a scene that gave away one ending revelations. Perhaps on purpose, perhaps not. The others, however, were still a surprise, either in their entirety or how they impacted others.
I really loved that there was all of the play of the different relationships between the characters, how that dynamic changed not only from the beginning of Fracture until now, but also the different way that played against what transpired. If the relationships had not been so complicated, if they had only been 'sort of' friends, or didn't have the deep friendships to be affected, the deaths, the curse, the questions wouldn't lead to anything very interesting or dramatic in Vengeance. They did have that history, though, and it lead to the unfolding of something really unique and great to read.
Guest Post from Vengeance author Megan Miranda:
First of all, thank you for having me on your blog!
I have always loved both science and writing, and I really took the advice write what you love to heart. It definitely affects my writing because it’s where my interests lie. I love reading about current events in science, and I’m fascinated by the things that we can’t fully explain yet. I read a lot of Michael Crichton when I was younger, whose books explored the what ifs of science, and this definitely influenced me growing up.
Mostly, I think my science background sparks my story ideas. Fracture and Vengeance deal with the what ifs of the brain, the idea for Hysteria started with research about memories, and my upcoming 2015 book is about something I used to imagine when I was in school: What if we could find the soul in science?
In a lot of ways, the process of science and writing isn’t all that different. You sit down, day after day, and you chip away, bit by bit. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t, and you have to start a project all over again, trying something new. The process itself is the science, just as much as the end result. Same goes for writing. An experiment that doesn’t work how you expected it to isn’t a failure—it’s a result, an answer. And in writing, it’s the same—a draft that isn’t working right yet is telling you something about the story. It’s a step toward the finished product, even if it’s not progress in word count.
I think a lot of people think science and writing are on different sides of the spectrum, but I’ve found it to be the opposite. For me, both the ideas and the process really go hand-in-hand. I was a kid who loved both science and writing, and it’s a dream to be able to explore both of my passions through my books.
Thank you Megan Miranda for the Guest Post!
thank you to publisher and NetGalley for my egalley for this review