Friday, February 13, 2015

Book Review: Thunder

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Title: Thunder

Author: Bonnie S. Calhoun

Series: Stone Braide Chronicles #1

Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian

Audience: Young Adult

**3.5 stars**

So, this is another hard one. What to rate it?? I think I’ll have to go with three and a half stars until I read the rest of the series.

Looking for a complex, thrilling dystopian novel (with some fantasy mixed in)? Thunder by Bonnie S. Calhoun is definitely that! Not so fond of violence/ghastly scenes … well, you’re running out of luck. But if you don’t mind that, along with a few super strange sci-fi sort of elements, you might just love this book.

Selah Chavez is a young woman living after The Time of Sorrows. Her world was rather steady and predictable … until the day she meet a Lander, the mysterious people from across the ocean who are caught and sold to the Mountain.
That day she discovered that her own existence and purpose are a deep mystery. And on top of that, she has now become the hunted. On a race to save her people from destruction, Selah, along with a handsome Lander boy, and a homeless little girl, is in for the most dangerous adventure of her life.

I actually found Thunder in the Christian Book Distributer magazine, and later bought it from Barnes and Noble, figuring it was a safe book to read. I’m not exactly sure now. I guess CBD doesn’t strictly have Christian books for sale?? (Not that I'm saying Thunder doesn't have a Christian aspect; I'm just not sure yet.)

There was multiple mentions from the Landers about “not feeling the Presence anymore”, and laments about having done something wrong, and that’s why they ended up in Selah’s land. Also, there is a group of look-alike Lander children who disappear in a rather creepy way (a.k.a. the strange sci-fi element). So as I’m reading Thunder, I’m intrigued by the Landers and their backstory, but I’m not sure I’m going to be okay with the answers unless it’s some kind of Christian allegory type thing. I don’t know. That’s why I hesitate to give it more stars until I get the rest of the story.

Another point, I’m alright with the mind reading/talking and other such abilities as long as that’s a fantasy element and a gift from the Creator at that. Otherwise, it kind of makes me think of new-age stuff or something. So we’ll see where that all goes in Thunder.

A second reason for my low(er) rating. The violence. The gruesome scenes. I will say, there wasn’t a huge amount of them, but there were two such scenes (one really bad), and then a smattering of violent encounters throughout the book. Bonnie S. Calhoun tends to describe the less-than-happy scenes rather graphically. I totally could have done without that, period. But it wasn’t the worst thing ever. I would just strongly caution readers … Parents, make sure you read this book before letting your children. I would say older-teen to adult, but that’s just going off my ability to handle violence/gruesome scenes. I would say I’m sensitive when it comes to things like that … not that I think it’s a bad thing to be so!

Going on. I’ve been really intrigued by dystopian lately. So for that part, Thunder had me captivated. I’m less into sci-fi, and this book definitely seemed to have a feel of that too, but it wasn’t too, too much (yet anyway). Overall it was a mysterious, exciting, and slightly scary story … with a fun, “teenage” romance of course! *grins*

On that note, I was okay with. It was for the most part, the average teen romance of books these days, with some staring and a kiss or two. I did feel like it might be a little deeper than most though. More real at some points, perhaps. So yeah, for the most part, it wasn’t bad at all.

I really liked the array of characters. Selah, Bodhi, Cleon, Amaryllis, Treva … it was really fun getting to know them. Others, like Raza, Everling, and his wife Bethany … were creepy. Ganston, Mojica, and Glade were all quite interesting. So, lovely there.

I admit, I was kind of confused at points in Thunder. All this dystopian, futuristic technology and medical stuff … my mind started to spin after a while. But as I progressed through the book, I was able to understand it better, and read without pause (for the most part, haha). All I can say is, the author has superb ideas and a very imaginative mind! I applaud her for that! *smiles*

All in all, I would say a great story. Mysterious and intricate. Romantic and endearing. Leaving you breathless and wondering. I look forward to reading Lightning … let’s hope for the best!

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