Thursday, November 1, 2012

REVIEW: Alone by Robert J. Crane

Title: Alone
Author: Robert J. Crane
Series: The Girl in the Box
Pages: 182
Publisher: Self-Published
Date Published: April 16, 2012
Source: Received from Author for Honest Review

Sienna Nealon was a 17 year-old girl who had been held prisoner in her own house by her mother for twelve years. Then one day her mother vanished, and Sienna woke up to find two strange men in her home. On the run, unsure of who to turn to and discovering she possesses mysterious powers, Sienna finds herself pursued by a shadowy agency known as the Directorate and hunted by a vicious, bloodthirsty psychopath named Wolfe, each of which is determined to capture her for their own purposes.

I didn't really put too much into my expectations of Alone.  Sci-Fi/Fantasy isn't usually my go-to genre.  It was recommended to me by my good (real life!) friend, Amy, over at Read to My Heart's Content.  She emailed me just gushing over this amazing self-published author she found and how great his books were.  While we have very similar tastes in books and authors, Amy's much more into Sci-Fi/Fantasy than I am, but I agreed to give them a try.  If there's one thing Amy's good at, it's making me explore outside of my comfort genres, and I'm nearly always thankful for her recommendations.  Alone is the perfect example of such a book.    
Sienna Nealon is 17 years old, and she's basically been a prisoner in her own home for years.  Her mother is extremely strict with her:  she never lets her leave, makes her wear long sleeves and gloves at all times and makes her train to fight for hours every day.  When her mother doesn't come home one night Sienna knows that something is terribly wrong.  When strangers break into her home with the intention of kidnapping her for a strange organization called the Directorate, Sienna wonders if it has anything to do with her mother's disappearance.  She has lots of unanswered questions, and the answers she does get only confuse her more.  But, with a a savage beast, Wolfe, hunting her, she knows she needs help from somewhere, even if she can't fully trust them.
Sienna is a great, well written character.  She's amazingly tough!  Her mother's taught her to fight, and she's good at it, beating the crap out of anyone that gets in her way.  I love heroines like this.  She's placed into an extremely difficult situation, and she has no idea who she can trust.  Everyone seems to have ulterior motives.  My favorite thing about Sienna is her snarky nature.  Some of her comebacks had me seriously cracking up.  I'm impressed that Crane was able to give such a perfectly snotty teenage personality to Sienna.   
The story is written from Sienna's point-of-view, so she's the only character I have a real feel for so far.  We also have a mysterious man, Reed, who keeps turning up at the strangest times.  I don't know yet who he is or what his intentions are, but I find myself drawn to him.  I want to know how he always seems to stay one step ahead and how he knows who Sienna is.  He's not very forthcoming on the answers to these, or any, questions!  We also have Zack, who works for the Directorate.  He's taken a special interest in Sienna, but I'm not sure yet if I trust him.  Wolfe is another character that is extremely well written.  Honestly, he scares the Hell out of me.  He's not just a wolf-man out to get the girl.  He's a psychopath Hell bent on torturing her just for the fun of it.  He longs to hear her scream.  He single handedly wipes out entire squads of agents, and kills people just to hurt Sienna.  He's scary...very realistically so.
Alone is a dark story with an interesting twist.  While comedic quips are tossed about, at it's core Alone is mostly terrifying.  Sienna has had a horribly twisted childhood, which is enough to give anyone nightmares.  But the real nightmare is still out there waiting to get his claws into her.  Sienna is placed into many brutal situations, and at times I found it hard to read.  Wolfe is one seriously scary guy.  Alone is mysterious, thrilling and ultimately a great read for any fan of a good exciting adventure.  This is a great beginning to what will certainly be an amazing series!
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