Monday, April 29, 2013

Special Post: Out of Breath and Ghost Runner by Blair Richmond

Out of Breath  (The Lithia Trilogy, #1)Out of Breath by Bliar Richmond

Nineteen-year-old Kat Jones has been a competitive runner since she was a young girl, but after her mother's death, the path her life was supposed to take begins to crumble around her -- until one day, she finds herself on the run in a literal sense, this time in a race for her very life.

Kat's journey takes her to the Pacific Northwest town of Lithia, the place of her last good memories, of the days when her mother was still alive. But soon after her arrival, strange things begin to happen in Lithia -- and when one of her new friends disappears under mysterious circumstances, Kat begins to realize that Lithia's inhabitants are not all of this world. Worst of all, she is falling in love with one of these otherworldly locals, and the friend who hopes to save her has secrets of his own.

As Kat tries to rebuild her life, she is also training for a race that will turn out to be her biggest challenge yet, as she must outrun not only the demons of her past but the demons of the here and now, who threaten her very existence and that of the entire town...

This was an interesting beginning to what promises to be a satisfying trilogy.

What I enjoyed most, even more than the characters themselves, was the setting. There’s a great ambiance to the book, creating this feeling of mystery and possibly danger around the plot. I think it’s worth reading just to experience that feeling of being completely taken in by the story.

But the characters didn’t disappoint, either. Kat, the protagonist, was the kind of resilient heroine that we need to keep in most young adult books. She is a fully-capable young woman who you immediately start cheering for. I did, however, think that the love story, the love triangle, was not as well handled as the rest. It’s too abrupt, a bit jarring to the reader, for this love triangle to sprout without too much warning. I would have preferred to have read something more gradual.

But this is a fun book that can be easily read in a day or two, so if you’re willing to be forgiving to the “insta-love” thing, then actually it’s a great choice.

Ghost Runner by Blair Richmond

The Ghost Runner (The Lithia Trilogy, #2)You can't outrun your past...

In The Ghost Runner, Kat is still in Lithia, trying not to see Roman’s face everywhere she looks. It’s not easy, but she tries to move on: She starts taking classes at the local college, keeps up with her job at the running store, and is beginning a relationship with Alex.

Yet Kat’s past is never far behind, and as old ghosts begin to catch up with her, she finds herself fighting to defend the things she believes in, from the hope of a new family to the deeply wooded forests that she has begun to call home. As her relationship with Alex begins to crumble, a new secret from her past emerges, and she is once again torn between those she loves as she struggles to reconcile her dark past with her hopes for a brighter future.

The Ghost Runner, continuing Kat's adventures in Out of Breath, brings us further into the mysterious town of Lithia, where the old traditions of logging and gold mining—and the new traditions of development—collide with conservation. Meanwhile, the spirits of the town keep watch over everything—and occasionally find it necessary to intervene…

A sequel is always a tricky book to write. Being able to keep the characters’ voices fresh in the author’s mind is no easy thing to accomplish, but in this case, I think the sequel is just as good as the original.

I enjoyed the subtle personality changes that we see with Katherine. She has evolved as a character, which is what we wish out of all our protagonists: to see a bit of a change in the way they look at life. She can get a bit on the whiny side sometimes, but it’s not nearly enough to put me off reading the book. We also get to see a bit more of Alex in this book, which is definitely a plus. The many little side plots work well, adding to the overall plot without distracting the reader.

This is a fun addition to its genre and one that I easily recommend to all lovers of paranormal fiction.

No comments: