Serena Diaz’s life is imploding. A troubled student has accused the young biology teacher of sexual misconduct, cutting off her promising career just as it was starting to blossom. But that’s just the beginning of Serena’s problems.
When a therapeutic walk in the woods leads her to a ruined house overtaken by criminals, Serena is assaulted and finds herself witness to the senseless murder of the one man who tries to help her. Hurled into a world of false accusations and hounded by the press, Serena must confront evil itself to unravel the mysterious visions—and terrifying danger—that pursue her. But she can’t ignore the most haunting question: Why would a mysterious stranger give his life to save hers?
The answer, if she can find it, will point the way to her freedom from evil men in a lascivious trade.
The description of this book makes it sound like it’s the story of Serena Diaz and how she struggles with and handles the trials in her life. I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of evils and visions she would face, but I expected to read her story to find out. This isn’t, however, her story – this is the story of a dozen people with whom she comes into contact. There are so many point-of-view characters that I often had to flip to previous chapters to find out if I’d already met the character or if it was someone new. Even after I figured out whose POV I was in, it sometimes changed mid-chapter, so it was confusing at times.
Based on the description, I thought I was getting a character-driven book (one that looks at the life of the main character, pulling you into her life and letting you experience life as she does). Instead, I got a plot-driven book (where there’s very little time to make an emotional connection with the character, either because things are happening so quickly or because, in this case, there are so many POVs that you get a superficial look at a lot of people instead of developing a close connection with one or two). I never had the chance to understand any of the characters very well, so it made their actions and decisions hard to believe (how exactly does a second-year biology teacher take down a criminal organization by herself when a group of dedicated activists haven’t been able to do it in 10 years? She has a revelation – no explanation as to how she came to that conclusion, it just happens to be the right one and she executes her plan almost flawlessly).
Overall, I found this book difficult to engage in. It was easy to put down, and I had to force myself to keep reading. I was curious to know how it ended, so I finished it, but I never connected with the characters. I wanted to read Serena’s story; instead, it felt like I was reading someone else’s account of her story.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. The opinions are my own.