Hidden is back! This is my last post for the tour, and today I'll be reviewing Shattered. Shattered is the third book in the series, following Lost (which you can find more information about here). I already gave me spiel about being back into the series in my first post for the tour (which is also at that link), so let's just get right to business! But first....
HIDDEN (BOOK #1) IS STILL COMPLETELY FREE!!!!
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Shattered by M. Lathan
Christine and Nathan’s quest for normal may rip them apart….
Someone as powerful as Christine Gavin cannot afford to be reckless, and after accidentally ending the world, her caretakers give her something she has wanted for years–a normal life without psychic powers. But it comes at a great price, one her boyfriend has to pay.
A dangerous hunter plotting to kill her and the world growing closer to another magical war are little things compared to what fate has in store for her next.
M. Lathan lives in San Antonio with her husband and mini-schnauzer. She enjoys writing and has a B.S. in Psych and a Masters in Counseling. Her passion is a blend of her two interests – creating new worlds and stocking them with crazy people. She enjoys reading anything with interesting characters and writing in front of a window while asking rhetorical questions … like her idol Carrie Bradshaw.
Chapter One - Nathan
I must be quiet. Even my breaths are too loud.
That was how I felt around John, even as he lay there dead. Lydia Shaw’s morgue was about as silent as our home used to be. Don’t make too much noise, Nathan. John needs silence to read his paper, Nathan. He’d turned our home into a prison–an eerily quiet, suburban prison.
I stepped towards the smelly lump under the white sheet and breathed slowly, silently out of my mouth. He reeked of magic.
I’d heard death had a way of pardoning sins and turning awful people into saints. That wouldn’t be true for me. I’d hated John when he was living and breathing and ruining my life, and I still hated him now. His stubby toes were exposed and blue. Blood no longer pumped through his veins, bringing life to the feet he used to annoyingly tap on the floor for hours, and I still wanted to punch him in the face.
Lydia nodded to the body, asking if I wanted the sheet raised. I shook my head and moved on to the next lump. My mother’s body barely made an impression against the sheet. She was all bone, a tragic sort of skinny that made your skin crawl.
I suppressed a shiver. Lydia’s sheets were too short. My mother’s toes were also exposed and blue, but unlike John, I didn’t want to punch her in the face. I stared at her red nail polish that was still perfectly intact, remembering a time when she’d twirled around the kitchen to dry her wet toes while she cleaned.
Two birds, one stone, she’d said. She wasn’t a skeleton in this memory. My mother was once a very beautiful woman, before John wore her down, before the perfect life she so desperately wanted started to eat away at her.
Lydia and Christine were staring at me, either waiting for me to say something about their bodies or their deaths. “You need longer sheets,” was all I could manage.
“I’ll see what I can do about that,” Lydia said. “I will need to keep them here for evidence. After, we can bury or cremate them. Let me know what you decide, and I’ll arrange it.”
I shrugged my shoulders. “Whatever is least inconvenient for you,” I said.
Christine gasped softly and wrapped her arms around her stomach. Her lips trembled like the temperature had dropped thirty degrees suddenly, and she was staring into thin air like she could see something I couldn’t.
Her voice shook when she whispered, “Theresa wants me to-”
“I don’t care what she wants,” I interrupted. She looked crushed, so I softened my tone. “I’m sorry, babe. What I meant was … I don’t want to communicate with her. Now or ever, please.”
If I had known her psychic powers were sensitive enough to actually see or hear the dead, I would’ve asked her to stay upstairs in her mother’s office. Humans like my girlfriend had brains that performed at extremely high levels, making it possible for them to do all sorts of crazy things. While an untrained human mind sensed normal things, her mind–and the minds of psychic hunters–could see the future, hear your thoughts, and know any and everything there was to know. And while a normal human brain told legs and feet to move, she could easily make her brain move me.
I’d thought she could only feel death or the chill of a ghost, but the way she was looking at absolutely nothing made it clear that something, someone, was there.
“She didn’t want to talk to me when she was alive,” I said. “…so she won’t get the chance to do it now.” I ignored the half-truth in that and how much I wanted to apologize to my mom. I’d let Devin St. Jermaine end her life last night, but I was too upset to say anything. After all, John was here with her, and historically that had meant to be quiet.
Chris wandered away from my mother’s body and caught a tear under her eye. I hated seeing her cry, but the panic that stirred in my chest had nothing to do with her tears. I didn’t want my mom to tell Chris anything about our relationship, things that would make me seem like a liar. She’d say she loved me, she’d say we were close, and I didn’t have enough space in my head to sort through the truthful lies I’d told.
Hidden, and going into it, it never even occurred to me that I might not. Hidden blew my mind by how much I loved it, and I still really enjoyed the second novel, Lost, but this one just wasn't up there with the rest of them. It was still a very good book, and I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy reading it, but I didn't fall in love with it the way I did with the other two.
I just wasn't as invested in this one. Normally, I can start reading and sit there for hours on end without so much as twitching, but this time I kept finding myself looking around for no reason. It almost felt like not as much time was spent on Shattered as with its predecessors, so a lot of things seemed underdeveloped. There were quite a few little things I noticed as off, and I think too often some parts were left unexplained in order to build suspense, but it just made things awkward.
For example, I needed more information about Kamon's supposed backlash and Lydia's genius plan that would fix everything. She brought it up with Nathan towards the beginning, and it was explained more later, but I needed something THEN. One of the great things about having dual perspectives in a book like this one is that one narrator can know and explain something the other has no clue about, letting the reader in on some pretty great dramatic irony. But instead, the reader is left out of the loop and has to wait until it's explained to Chris.
Speaking of those dual perspectives, I loved them. I really didn't expect to because it was new and kind of out of the blue minus the epilogue of Lost, but I actually enjoyed it a lot. I've always loved Nathan because he just seemed like the perfect person in general, and it was so cool to get to delve into more of his character. His past and the relationships he had with John and Theresa are SO interesting, and before now, I would only get to hear about them maybe once in the book, but now all of that has changed!
I STILL feel like I'm going to cry every time he brings them up, especially his mother. I was completely enthralled when he started thinking about how she fell into the abusive relationship with John, and I'm so glad I got to witness that thought process. When he went back to the memory of her in the candy store, I smiled so much, but when he explained what happened when he left, my heart shattered into a million pieces. I actually dropped the book, it affected me so strongly. Little Nate has been my joy in each and every one of these books, and it absolutely kills me that I only get to see him when something's about to go wrong for him.
But do you know what? I think in this book, I've finally realized that he's not perfect. Before now, I was only able to see him through Christine's eyes, where he could do no evil, but now I can see that while he's still "perfect" in that he's amazing, he's not perfect because he's flawless. Nathan actually has surprisingly many flaws, but seeing them didn't really make me love him any less. If anything, they made him more real of a character for me, which was such an amazing gift that this book was able to give.
I know that I started this review off really badly, and I hope that by now you can see that I never actually hated this book. It wasn't as perfect as I had imagined it would be, and I don't want to try to hide those flaws, but Shattered really did contain a lot of beautiful things. So while it may not have been as life affirming as I had hoped, I am still incredibly glad that I read it.