Survival(Book 1 of The Guardians of Vesturon) by A.M. Hargrove
While on a backpacking trip in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, nineteen-year-old Maddie Pearce finds that her world has been thrown into a vortex and is madly spinning towards the impossible. Abducted by a mad psychopath, Maddie narrowly escapes with her life. But that is only the beginning. Her mysterious rescuer introduces her to a world that Maddie has difficulty accepting as reality. Will this strikingly gorgeous stranger be the key to her future or will she return to her mundane world, scarred from her experience? Follow Maddie as she is forced to make difficult decisions that carry her to mysterious places.
Survival is adequately titled, for it is a story about a girl, Maddie, that has an almost uncanny strength(mentally and physically) to survive an onslaught of events. An intriguing and new view about beings from another world, the Guardians. It was refreshing, fun and even thrilling at times. Survival is written in four parts(or Books), the first is where we get introduced to Maddie Pearce as she begins a new adventure at collage. Maddie is honest, cunning, perceptively smart, fierce at times and very determined. Although she is written as a nineteen year old, she comes across younger and inexperienced in some aspects of life. Some readers may find this endearing where others might be slightly frustrated. We also get a look at the psychopath, Darryl, that forever alters Maddie's life. Where Maddie's part is full of emotion, Darryl's is lacking. Not only is it a character change, but the perspective changes from first-person to third-person allowing the reader to get a feel for this crazy, unstable person and what drives him. In Book 2, we get to delve into Rayn's psych, where we get some history about Vesturon and the Guardians. We also get to start with Rayn as he meets Maddie, a positive choice from the author, which gives us more insight into his character and his struggles than if his part started where Maddie's left off. Rayn is honorable, strong, extremely smart and such forth. He is one of the perfect 'heros' that us girls like to read about. Rayn's perspective gives Survival a well-rounded feel and I think the story would be lacking without his thoughts. Although, this is a romantic tale about survival(from many things), I think the readers will feel that this seemed to be more of a back story, setting up plot for the second installment, Resurrection. A good back story, but still a back story. There wasn't a solid sub-plot of evil to overcome until there was only a quarter of the book left. And there was no ending to that sub-plot because it was just beginning, to be continued in the next book. Some may argue that Darryl and his evil ways were a sub-plot, but he disappears until he is needed and ends up leaving the readers with a huge cliff-hanger. There were also things that were mentioned that were just that, mentioned. They were never looked into or explained or brought into the story, but they leave you asking questions like "is that an important detail to keep track of?". A.M. Hargrove does a successful job of drawing her readers in and keeping them interested. I'm almost positive my questions will be answered in the next book! I can only imagine the dilemmas that will be present in Resurrection. Lucky for us, Resurrection is currently out and available for us to snatch up!
Survival is available at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble.