Saturday, November 15, 2014

Review: At Death's Door by Astrid V. Tallaksen

Title: At Death's Door
Author: Astrid V. Tallaksen
 Released: Aug. 2014
 Source: Kindle Freebie
 Links: Goodreads ~ Amazon


The world is a pretty straightforward place. Even for medium Sara Stone things seem pretty simple, aside from the whole talking to spirits bit. But when the spirits get too hard to handle and Sara ends up admitted to a mental hospital, the world starts to seem a lot less straightforward. First her family disappears, including her four year old son. Then she gets the sneaking suspicion that not only are the staff at the mental hospital somehow connected, but they also have no intention of ever letting her leave the hospital. 

Everything changes when Sara has her first visitor in three months. Daniel is handsome, friendly, and a complete stranger. When he promises to spring her from the hospital and swears that everything she's experienced is completely real, Sara has no choice but to believe him. But once she reaches a run-down Victorian house in the tiny Alabama town her rescuer calls home, the last thing she expects to discover is that every memory she has is a lie. 

Daniel reveals a world filled with angels, demons, and an impending war humans know nothing about. Sara wants to ignore her role in the whole mess – all that matters is solving the mystery of where her son has gone. But the forces of Heaven, Hell, and the Heart have other plans for her. Can she find her child before the world comes crashing down?

My Review: 

I don't even know where to begin with this review.  Oh man, its going to be SO hard to do this book justice and keep the review spoiler free.  *cracks fingers* 

When we first are introduced to Sara, she's pretty much locked up in almost solitary in a mental ward.  The problem, Sara sees ghosts/spirits and they are overwhelming her with messages for loved ones or messages of doom.   She's kept sedated and restrained after trying to kill on of the nurses on the ward.  According to the staff, Sara is alone and has no one.  Though Sara knows she has a family and especially she has a son.  They insist neither exist and its part of Sara's delusions and sickness. 

Things are not quite what they seem though, and poor Sara is distraught because everything she thinks she knows, she's beginning to wonder if she hasn't made it all up and she is after all crazy. That is until she gets a visit, her first visit since being locked up, from a virtual stranger, Daniel. 

Daniel, opens her mind to a hundred more questions, without offering up any real answers or information about what is going on and where her family has disappeared to.  The only thing Daniel can offer Sara at their initial meeting is the promise that if and when she is released, He will be there right away to get her and explain what he can.  Sara doesn't know who Daniel is or what he knows, but she knows instinctively she can trust him. And so she does her best to act right and aim for a quick release. 

Things are not easy though, and it seems Sara has more enemies than friends. That maybe those who claim to be Helping her or actually not trying to help her at all.   More questions come and go, and the Spirits return to Sara with more demands, but she's able to keep it mostly under wraps.  

Upon her release, which wasn't easy to achieve, Sara and Daniel make haste to his home where he begins to answer Sara's many questions. Starting with who she is, who he is, their connection. Her family, her son, what happened to them or the lack of information on the subjects.  And let me tell you, the surprises, well they just keep on coming after this point.  

It's hard to break down the second half of the book without giving spoilers, so I'll mostly sum it up here by saying this.  HOLY EPIC AMAZEBALLS.  

Absolutley NOTHING could have prepared me for the twisty, turny surprises this adventure had to bring my way.  Like, Sara, each answer, only led me to more questions, and those questions set my mind to spinning, and it was like things came at me fast and though some of it seemed to happen like rapid-fire, it all built up into a scintillating tale that I was loathe to set down.  Danger lurks, and there's something big coming, and its all enshrouded in tidbits and puzzle pieces of knowledge.    

There's a difference in the things, Sara sees, some are ghosts, some are spirits, and others are not at all what they first appear to be.  Being a Medium, Sara is hit with them from all angles, sometimes to the point she needs something to block them out for a little while. 

At Death's Door is so full of secrets and mystery, complexities and  questions that keep you going, even though you are unsure of what's coming on the next page.  This book will keep you guessing, you will cry, you will want to hit something,  you will rage, and you will range through these emotions all while on a unending ride. The characters are just plain awesome.  Sara is one tough woman, she's been through so much, and yeah sometimes she's felt like giving in or giving up, but in the long run, she doesn't. She makes plans, she holds her own, and she does what she can for others.   Daniel, oh my Daniel, He's a good Strong man, but he's also a  poor tortured soul, who lives with one major regret, and he's suffered for it, but he's still right in the middle of this big old mess and doing what he can for Sara and her son. I enjoyed the banter between Daniel and Sara, it added a bit of levity to the seriousness of the situations they are in.  

  I love the take on Angels and Demons Astrid Talleksen takes in this story, it is not even remotely similar to any other Angels/Demons literary world I've ever seen.  She has built up quite a different world.  A world that has the ability to pull you in and trap you until the last word. Then leaves you begging for me.  Though, the story ends without a cliffhanger, there is more to come, which leaves me wondering just how many more shocks are in store. 

At Death's Door, was my first book by Astrid V. Tallaksen, it definitely has sucked me into her writing, and the world her words have created, and I will have to torurously wait for the next book in the series.  

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