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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Audio Book Review: Loreena's Gift by Colleen M. Story

This engaging audio presents a different view (not religious) of afterlife.
Loreena's Gift
by Colleen M. Story
Narrator: Alyssa Bresnahan
Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:04-12-16
Publisher: Recorded Books
Genre: Listed as Religious & Inspirational
(although I think it fits Fantasy better)
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Loreena Picket is a young blind woman with a gift. In the rare moments when she's not wearing her gloves, if she takes your hand, she travels with you to your own personal afterlife. Loreena will return -- you won't. Loreena's minister uncle says her power is a gift from God, and together they help terminally ill people die peacefully. Still, Loreena is conflicted, because she's seen the afterlife, and it's nothing like her uncle says it is. This uneasy peace is shattered when one night, Loreena must take a life to save her wayward brother. This act draws her unwillingly into a seedy world of crime, and she must learn to survive being kidnapped, confined, and used for her power. And, ultimately, she must discover whether her true nature is that of an angel of mercy or an assassin.

Loreena has more troubles than just her blindness. If she touches anyone hand to hand she takes them to their death. The first time it happens as an accident to a growing friend and she is devastated. Guilt is a heavy burden even as her uncle, a preacher, pushes her to assist terminally ill congregants to ‘pass over’. Each death journey is different once they pass through the initial ‘tunnel’. In addition to the guilt she feels Loreena is confused by what she perceives as conflict in the journeys and the faith teachings of her uncle.

Loreena is thrilled to unexpectedly see her brother, Saul, who walked away three years before. She agrees to go out with him and his new girlfriend, who happened to be the daughter of the cancer patient she just helped. During their evening at the bar a business ‘enforcer’ comes after Saul. The man beats Saul and then pulls a gun. Loreena reacts to stop the man – an act that propels her into a nightmare.

A strange man appears in the church. Dominic claims to be a journalist who wants to do an interview of the blind church pianist. Loreena steps out of her carefully controlled world and convinces Dominic to help her go looking for her brother. Instead they find a gang boss who wants to use her skills for his own purposes.

The story is told from Loreena’s POV and the author does a good job of presenting her world of sounds, smells and touches. When Loreena is forced to use her ‘gift’ against her will some of the afterlife scenes are far from serene. The story has a certain amount of creepiness and darkness – in more than sight. There is violence and a jolting rape scene. It fits in the story but is painful.

The story is listed under ‘religious and inspirational’ but I didn’t really feel it fit that genre as much as it fits in fantasy and paranormal. I liked the twists of the story and found it very engaging. I recommend this to readers who like paranormal tales with a bit of darkness (no pun intended).

Audio Notes: Alyssa Bresnahan does an effective job of narration. Her voice fits the age of Loreena (21) and even though the presentation is a bit low key (her style I think?) she conveys the emotions of the characters. The narration enhanced my engagement with the story.

I received this audio from the publisher through Audiobook Jukebox.  It qualifies for my Audio Book Challenge.

1 comment:

  1. Great review. This sound like an interesting story, I have added it to my list to try. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings about this story.


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