Friday, October 4, 2013

Never Review

Travis Hamilton never expected to be a killer. One day he was studying to become a schoolteacher in the little western town of Spencervale, and the next he was sentenced to ten years hard labor in the Dead Mines outside town -- from which few return alive.

Ross Hamilton is no detective. But when his brother is convicted of murder, he has no choice but to abandon his ranch and do all in his power to find out just what happened the night of the killing, and who is really responsible.

Neither brother is prepared to be stretched and tested to his limits and beyond by an adventure that is much bigger than either of them ever imagined.

But in the next few days, they will be. The only way to survive is to never compromise.

--From J. Grace Pennington's Website


Again I am in awe of Grace's skill with the mystery side of her stories. Not only is it better than any mystery I have attempted to write, it is better than most of the mystery series I grew up on. Grace kept me guessing "whodunit" for quite a while, and even at the end I was going "He's on that side? I thought I could trust him." At the beginning, I wasn't even entirely sure the Travis hadn't somehow done it. About halfway through the book, the plot thickens considerably, revealing it to be more than just a random murder.

On the non-mystery side of the story, I loved the mine parts of the story. I've loved terrible underground places in stories since I was little (probably since I first read The Silver Chair) and the Dead Mines was such a place. The description of the conditions in the mine was extremely good, dark and grimy, hardly any food, nasty water, etc. Travis's experience was very well written, to say the least. Ross and Travis were well developed characters, they have their own personalities, and, despite being very different, are very close brothers. The message to never compromise your principles is well done, especially since the principles the Hamiltons are determined never to compromise are Christian ones.

The one thing I can think of that I didn't particularly like was that the word "then" was used a bit too often at the very beginning. However, further into the book she used the word much more sparingly.

In short, I really enjoyed Never, and would definitely recommend it, though, due to the subject of murder, probably not for young children.

My sister wants me to add that she thinks it is "totally awesome."

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

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