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The Anomaly

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Not all secrets are meant to be found. If Indiana Jones lived in the X-Files era, he might bear at least a passing resemblance to Nolan Moore -- a rogue archaeologist hosting a documentary series derisively dismissed by the "real" experts, but beloved of conspiracy theorists. Nolan sets out to retrace the steps of an explorer from 1909 who claimed to have discovered a myster Not all secrets are meant to be found. If Indiana Jones lived in the X-Files era, he might bear at least a passing resemblance to Nolan Moore -- a rogue archaeologist hosting a documentary series derisively dismissed by the "real" experts, but beloved of conspiracy theorists. Nolan sets out to retrace the steps of an explorer from 1909 who claimed to have discovered a mysterious cavern high up in the ancient rock of the Grand Canyon. And, for once, he may have actually found what he seeks. Then the trip takes a nasty turn, and the cave begins turning against them in mysterious ways. Nolan's story becomes one of survival against seemingly impossible odds. The only way out is to answer a series of intriguing questions: What is this strange cave? How has it remained hidden for so long? And what secret does it conceal that made its last visitors attempt to seal it forever?


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Not all secrets are meant to be found. If Indiana Jones lived in the X-Files era, he might bear at least a passing resemblance to Nolan Moore -- a rogue archaeologist hosting a documentary series derisively dismissed by the "real" experts, but beloved of conspiracy theorists. Nolan sets out to retrace the steps of an explorer from 1909 who claimed to have discovered a myster Not all secrets are meant to be found. If Indiana Jones lived in the X-Files era, he might bear at least a passing resemblance to Nolan Moore -- a rogue archaeologist hosting a documentary series derisively dismissed by the "real" experts, but beloved of conspiracy theorists. Nolan sets out to retrace the steps of an explorer from 1909 who claimed to have discovered a mysterious cavern high up in the ancient rock of the Grand Canyon. And, for once, he may have actually found what he seeks. Then the trip takes a nasty turn, and the cave begins turning against them in mysterious ways. Nolan's story becomes one of survival against seemingly impossible odds. The only way out is to answer a series of intriguing questions: What is this strange cave? How has it remained hidden for so long? And what secret does it conceal that made its last visitors attempt to seal it forever?

30 review for The Anomaly

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Michael here's the thing. You're about to become absurdly famous. People are going to be badgering you to be on their talk shows. Saturday Night Live will do a spoof on you. David Letterman will come out of retirement just to do a top ten list with you on it. There will be fan fiction. So much fan fiction. Everyone is going to know who you are. You're going to have some clout. Power to get things done. Or to stop things from happening as the case may be. So with that in mind... Please, for the lo Michael here's the thing. You're about to become absurdly famous. People are going to be badgering you to be on their talk shows. Saturday Night Live will do a spoof on you. David Letterman will come out of retirement just to do a top ten list with you on it. There will be fan fiction. So much fan fiction. Everyone is going to know who you are. You're going to have some clout. Power to get things done. Or to stop things from happening as the case may be. So with that in mind... Please, for the love of god do not let Nicholas Cage star in the film adaptation of this book. I am begging you. Use whatever power you have at your disposal, call in whatever favors you can but do this for me, for the thousands, nay the MILLIONS of other people who are about to fall in love with Nolan Moore and his intrepid team of wannabe Youtubers. For everyone who is about to descend into the depths of the Grand Canyon on an epic, amazing, spine tingling, quest as entertaining as "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and as thought provoking as...I don't know...something really thought provoking. For everyone who ever wanted to find a lost city or uncover a forgotten mystery that was never meant to be solved. For everyone who ever fell in love and then fell out and then fell back in and made a mess of it all over again and only figured it all out when it was too damn late. For every fan of the lovable rogue who likes to think he's a cynical old bastard but is secretly a hero to everyone around him. For all of those millions of people who are about to fall in love with you. Just see if Colin Farrell is interested! He'd be great! Or Gary Oldman! He's soooo hot right now and I know he's older but c'mon he'd be perfect! I would seriously even take Cumberbatch even though he's so overexposed at this point and I'm sure he's busy with all that Dr. Strange stuff. Or Sean Bean! He'd be terrific! But for the sake of us all. Say no to Nicholas Cage.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    Good Lord this was brilliant. Creepy as all heck, a brilliant main protagonist, a hugely engaging wider cast and a horrifically addictive plot. I finished it late last night, bleary eyed, hugely satisfied with the entire read including the heart stopping finale. Also loved that the explanation made a fantastic kind of sense and wasn't pulled out of the ass end of nowhere in an attempt to be clever as so often happens with this type of adventure book. Indiana Jones on acid with added HORROR. Also Good Lord this was brilliant. Creepy as all heck, a brilliant main protagonist, a hugely engaging wider cast and a horrifically addictive plot. I finished it late last night, bleary eyed, hugely satisfied with the entire read including the heart stopping finale. Also loved that the explanation made a fantastic kind of sense and wasn't pulled out of the ass end of nowhere in an attempt to be clever as so often happens with this type of adventure book. Indiana Jones on acid with added HORROR. Also quietly terrifying. Full review will surely follow.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Book of the Month

    Why I Love It by Siobhan Jones One reason I love thrillers is because the diversity of the genre continuously delights me. You’ve got your British domestic suspense à la The Child, your blue-collar detective novels like Two Girls Down, psychological mindwreckery like Behind Her Eyes … I could go on and on. Is it a stretch to posit that if you grouped and mapped thrillers as Darwin once mapped earth’s species on a “tree of life,” you’d find an array of fiction as copious as the animal kingdom its Why I Love It by Siobhan Jones One reason I love thrillers is because the diversity of the genre continuously delights me. You’ve got your British domestic suspense à la The Child, your blue-collar detective novels like Two Girls Down, psychological mindwreckery like Behind Her Eyes … I could go on and on. Is it a stretch to posit that if you grouped and mapped thrillers as Darwin once mapped earth’s species on a “tree of life,” you’d find an array of fiction as copious as the animal kingdom itself? I think not :) This month, BOTM is proud to feature a book unlike anything we’ve ever offered: a paranormal thriller that takes place in the pitch-black depths of the Grand Canyon. When a ragtag group of YouTube-famous archaeologists goes searching for a hidden cavern they assume is mere myth, they don’t expect to stumble upon the greatest revelation to ever surface about mankind. But not all of the team is working together to connect an eon’s worth of biological dots. Truths emerge, fingers are pointed, and ancient secrets are discovered … secrets, it seems, that not everyone wants found out. In my humble opinion, we’ve offered a few good thrillers this year, but this one—which is rich in both evolutionary freakiness and eerie conspiracy theories—takes the cake. If you’re looking for smoking guns, a handful of F-bombs, and Jurassic Park-esque chase scenes, look no further than this fast-paced adventure with serious Lara Croft vibes. Read more at: https://www.bookofthemonth.com/the-an...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Evelina | AvalinahsBooks

    I have to agree that I was completely hooked on the promise of fight and adventure! I still believe that this story could have been delivered so much better, and not just in terms of how it was told, but the story and its details itself. Tell anyone this premise and they'll tell you "this should be a movie, NOW". That's no coincidence – the author happens to be a screenwriter, and I actually wondered if he was before I read the acknowledgements, where it's confirmed that he was. Unfortunately fo I have to agree that I was completely hooked on the promise of fight and adventure! I still believe that this story could have been delivered so much better, and not just in terms of how it was told, but the story and its details itself. Tell anyone this premise and they'll tell you "this should be a movie, NOW". That's no coincidence – the author happens to be a screenwriter, and I actually wondered if he was before I read the acknowledgements, where it's confirmed that he was. Unfortunately for The Anomaly, the fact that the author is a screenwriter didn't make the book more cinematic – it somehow made it miss certain very integral parts of story telling on paper. I can't point out exactly what it was – but I know that certain things would have worked perfectly on screen, but didn't work so well on the page. I still maintain that the idea for the story is amazing. I just wish it was delivered better. Continuing this theme, I must admit that the themes were great. Ancient civilizations, stone computers, mysterious creatures, crafted from relevant elements. Big organizations, trying to achieve dubious goals. And even your typical urban fantasy male lead who is struggling with a broken marriage and a cracked image of self, when he really isn't that bad. All these things were great. And this is exactly why I think The Anomaly will still appeal to most occasional readers – which is actually something I'm already seeing, judging by all those great reviews on Goodreads. If you're less picky, if you don't read a lot, if you prefer movies to books – chances are you will find this very engaging, although maybe a little slow to develop. So What Disappointed Me So Much? Well, first of all, there was promise of fright. There are several blurbs for this book, and all of them talk about 'a nightmare', 'a scare', and the reviews rave on about how people were afraid to turn of the lights. Me while reading this book? I truly and honestly did not get WHAT the promised scary part was. There was NOTHING scary about this book, legitimately. There was arguably only one scene that had the potential of being scary, but honestly – we've seen it all (we've seen it in 1980...) That's not what scary is. (view spoiler)[In case you're wondering, it was a creature that broke out of someone's stomach. Yawn. It wasn't even a part of the main storyline. (hide spoiler)] Sure, they were trapped in a mysterious cave with dangerous artifacts and no way out, but... that's just sad, that's not scary. There was no dark presence. There was nothing evil at work. I have read kids books that are scarier than The Anomaly. Another thing was the pace. Like I mentioned before, three quarters of the book in, and still nothing much was moving! I can see a lot of less patient readers just dropping it altogether. When things happened, they stopped happening several pages after they started, and never picked up. The book is largerly about people wandering dark cave corridors. And that's it. That would also be okay if there was a big secret and mythologies involved. But there barely is. Another thing that upset me about the story was the lack of smart, viable explanation. Things just happen and are a little too easy to explain, and very conveniently. Explanations are simplified: "for some reason it's doing that." At first an inexplicable catastrophe starts, and then it reverses itself just as inexplicably. I am gullible, but not this much. I understand that the characters don't know squat about what's going on, but please, have you watched Stargate or Doctor Who, or even the said Indiana Jones? For people to buy sciencey or magical mumbo jumbo, you need a lot of detail, and if the characters don't know anything about it – they must at least try guessing and surmising. There have to be clues found. They can't just go "well this happened. For some reason." That does not make a compelling story. The Anomaly fell very short in this regard, as there were barely any explanations or theories on the whole 'big thing' that is happening. And yet, despite all these shortcomings, the book was interesting to read and I didn't want to drop it. That's why I'm giving it three stars. It's an interesting evening read, as long as you're not looking for it to be 'gripping and terrifying', despite it claiming to be so. I thank Bonnier Zaffre for giving me a free copy of the book in exchange to my honest opinion. Receiving the book for free does not affect my opinion. More reviews like this and a longer version of this review can be found on the blog. Read Post On My Blog | My Bookstagram | Bookish Twitter

  5. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    This is one of the best science fiction thrillers i’ve read in AGES. If you like Mathew Reilly or James Rollins, this is very much for you. Opening with a horror movie/Indiana Jones moment that sets the scene with terrifying screams in the dark, it then switches to a more chatty, diary style narrative related directly to the reader by amateur archaeologist, Nolan Moore. He walks the fine line of being both cocky and amusing, managing to be genuinely appealing by acknowledging his foibles and worl This is one of the best science fiction thrillers i’ve read in AGES. If you like Mathew Reilly or James Rollins, this is very much for you. Opening with a horror movie/Indiana Jones moment that sets the scene with terrifying screams in the dark, it then switches to a more chatty, diary style narrative related directly to the reader by amateur archaeologist, Nolan Moore. He walks the fine line of being both cocky and amusing, managing to be genuinely appealing by acknowledging his foibles and worldweary attitude with the kind of humour that makes you lough out loud. He starts as a bit of a cliche, just how you’d imagine his character to be if it adhered to every stereotypical book/film/tv version that came before, but early glimpses of something more genuine stops you from writing him off completely. He’s far from perfect, but he’s relatable, understandable, and most of all, funny. In fact, the whole group has the kind of arseholey camaraderie that feels entirely familiar. The draw is immediate- this could actually be you and your mates on an adventure. Who would think twice about exploring the Grand Canyon? Looking in that cave? Filming it for internet likes? It’s blindingly plausible. The fact that these people are running a blog to investigate conspiracies/myths just makes it all the more authentic. Rutger gets the tone exactly right. And I mean, exactly. From the character dialogue to their changing emotions as shit starts to get difficult, it feels right. And because it feels right, it feels real. That’s important because the readers know something the characters don’t… there’s something relentlessly savage in that cave. It means there’s a delicious clash between the tension we get as readers and their growing uncertainty. Rutger doesn’t rush to this point, there’s a gradual, balanced build up of tension as they work their way towards the successful discovery of the cave and then as they examine it. And all the time, they act like normal people. There’s no gung-ho bullshit, no ignoring of the obvious dangers. They reference the films we’ve all seen, the monsters in the dark, they joke about horrible outcomes. They do what we all would to laugh it off, there’s caution and reluctance, they fear the dark. As things go wrong, they increasingly sense a wrongness beyond the normal bad luck of an expedition gone bad, but unlike us, right up to the last minute, they don’t KNOW. We’re just gleefully waiting for it to happen. At the same time, the veracity of the character action and conversation means readers too have that slight hesitation, that nervousness, because we know that what they’re doing is just what we’d be doing too…and we remember that we don’t know exactly what’s coming for us, I mean, them…. Like so many offerings in this genre, the reveal dulled the shine somewhat. It felt a bit rushed in parts, especially because I was hoping for more death. Those that occurred were suitably horrifying, being bloodily detailed and stomach-clenchingly violent, but all the drama was over all too soon, and didn’t quite match the promise of the slow build. The sci fi parts were a little crazy, but perhaps left some freedom for future exploration in more books? Until the end, conversations about ancient communities, artefacts, and archaeology had the ring of truth because so much was based on genuine historical reasoning. Rutger clearly did his research and much of the information is based on extant historical evidence, with a few conspiracy theories thrown in for added thrills. This provided a solid foundation and worked well to give Nolan authenticity, but wasn’t quite enough to justify the underlying supernatural ‘science’ of the finale. It might seem strange thing to say in this kind of novel, but the manufactured bits needed to be a bit more substantial. Despite the few flaws, it’s still the kind of book that makes you want to check the dark corners of your house. I hope it’s the start of a series, I could read a boat load more of these. ARC via Netgalley

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Sometimes my son watches a TV programme where a group of, very strange, men, wander the backwoods of America looking for, and yet, never finding, strange creatures. This novel is cleverly based around a similar show – The Anomaly Files – a low budget, online show, with a similar theme of exploring conspiracy theories and, false history stories. The narrator of this novel, Nolan Moore, is the presenter, and he and the producer/director, Ken, have a new sponsor and the chance of a jump to cable TV Sometimes my son watches a TV programme where a group of, very strange, men, wander the backwoods of America looking for, and yet, never finding, strange creatures. This novel is cleverly based around a similar show – The Anomaly Files – a low budget, online show, with a similar theme of exploring conspiracy theories and, false history stories. The narrator of this novel, Nolan Moore, is the presenter, and he and the producer/director, Ken, have a new sponsor and the chance of a jump to cable TV. As such, it is essential that they make their new episode a success and take their one shot at cable and away from webcasts. The story that this episode is planned around, focuses on the story of an 1909 expedition, prospecting for minerals in the Grand Canyon. What did the hunter and explorer, G.E. Kincaid find in a cave, which was said to house great wonders, but also something very dangerous? Hopi legends suggest the cave was home to Maasaw, the ‘keeper of death,’ and Nolan, Ken, and the crew, plan to film a show about their attempts to locate the cavern. Actually, though, they never really anticipate that they will find anything, which makes it even more unbelievable, when it appears that they might actually have discovered more than they bargained for… What made this book work for me was the characters. I loved the way that Nolan, recently separated and a little vulnerable, is always on the defensive about his job, but clearly has a real interest in the show he is making. The other characters help flesh out the plot and there are a good number of interesting female, and male, characters. Where the novel falls apart a little for me was near the end, as the plot is a little bizarre, to say the least. However, great fun and very well written. I would certainly read more by this author, who is very talented, and this certainly has a fabulous first half, even if it didn’t quite live up to its promise.

  7. 3 out of 5

    Michelle

    No Rating. DNF. Will not be included in my 2018 reading challenge. Spelunking? Lost in a cave system? Hidden dangers lurking? Sign me up! Caves terrify me, I'm claustrophobic, so the very idea of spelunking is enough to set me on edge. BUT..... At 10% in and I can already tell that, sadly, this isn't a book for me. I decided to read a "spoiler" review and I'm thankful that I did because if I continued to read only to find "this" out I would of wanted all of my time back. Better for me to just mov No Rating. DNF. Will not be included in my 2018 reading challenge. Spelunking? Lost in a cave system? Hidden dangers lurking? Sign me up! Caves terrify me, I'm claustrophobic, so the very idea of spelunking is enough to set me on edge. BUT..... At 10% in and I can already tell that, sadly, this isn't a book for me. I decided to read a "spoiler" review and I'm thankful that I did because if I continued to read only to find "this" out I would of wanted all of my time back. Better for me to just move on to the next in Mt. TBR! I hope others enjoy this though! :) Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    4.5 stars, but rounded up to 5. To begin with, the title is so good. It's intriguing, and it makes sense after you finish the novel. I love it when the title of a book creeps into the dialogue or inner monologue. The book is written in first-person, from the point of view of Nolan. Nolan is a "rogue archaeologist" who explores myths and history that most people dismiss as nonsense. He's moving on up from a web series creator to a potential television TV series, and him and his small crew go check 4.5 stars, but rounded up to 5. To begin with, the title is so good. It's intriguing, and it makes sense after you finish the novel. I love it when the title of a book creeps into the dialogue or inner monologue. The book is written in first-person, from the point of view of Nolan. Nolan is a "rogue archaeologist" who explores myths and history that most people dismiss as nonsense. He's moving on up from a web series creator to a potential television TV series, and him and his small crew go check out an alleged cavern in the Grand Canyon, which only a few other people have ever claimed to find. I gotta be honest, I didn't really like Nolan at first. I actually didn't really like most of the characters at first, but by the end, I cared about them. I have a little bit of work experience in the television industry, but on the post-production side, and I think the author captured the spirit and camaraderie that comes with working tightly alongside a crew. I'm actually quite impressed by The Anomaly. The fun thing about reading this one is that I thought I would be able to predict what was going on, and when I thought I had something figured out, I didn't. Well, there was one thing I had predicted correctly, but I won't say what it was, and that was about it. As a horror novel, with a good bit of science-fiction blended in, it succeeds. I felt fear for the characters and what might happen to them. There were many scenes that were anxiety-inducing to me, but also which made me want to turn the page. Just reading about the characters having to squeeze through fissures in the rocks, for example, freaked me the heck out. Also, the author has a real knack for ending chapters at a OMG moment! I really don't want to give away what parts of the book were my favorite, because for one thing it would spoil the fun for you, and for another, explaining it out of context would just sound nuts. Some real bonkers stuff happens in this book! I'm giving this 4.5 because overall I found it to be a unique, creepy plot. I wasn't totally sold on the conclusion but again, don't want to spoil anything. Definitely check this one out if you've a horror fan who likes things like Fortean Times, offbeat news, Ancient Aliens, conspiracies - that sort of thing. I think this is just what you're looking for!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    "...And step one of that is getting out of this crevice. Because it sucks in here. This is the place and point and time from which the rest of our lives start. There is a path from here. And so we need to move along it. We have to go on, and keep going. Okay?" "Okay," she said, very quietly. Then, a little more strongly, "Okay. Sorry." "Don't be sorry.....I'm not enjoying this process either, and that's because it's shit. So let's go." I started to shuffle forward. After a moment, I felt her follo "...And step one of that is getting out of this crevice. Because it sucks in here. This is the place and point and time from which the rest of our lives start. There is a path from here. And so we need to move along it. We have to go on, and keep going. Okay?" "Okay," she said, very quietly. Then, a little more strongly, "Okay. Sorry." "Don't be sorry.....I'm not enjoying this process either, and that's because it's shit. So let's go." I started to shuffle forward. After a moment, I felt her follow, still holding on to my shirt. We kept moving. Slow yard after slow yard. And then somebody screamed. What if Indiana Jones was our 21st century contemporary instead of the scourge of Nazi antiquity thieves. And he had a YouTube show. And he didn't actually have an archaeology degree. Or a whip. And he had a wooden leg. Ok, I'm just shitting you on that last part. You'd more or less have Nolan Moore, the lovable underachiever protagonist of this summer thrill ride. Nolan is a divorced failed screenwriter in LA who has fallen into hosting a popular YouTube show that investigates archaeological mysteries with a mix of genuine history and conspiracy theory malarkey. It's a living. But he and his crew (British producer Ken, cameraman Pierre--who is not French, which annoys Nolan to no end--and associate producer and sound tech Molly) are maybe poised to make the jump to TV, where a modest fortune awaits. Along with a journalist from a Buzzfeed-type website and an observer from a mysterious foundation who want to fund Nolan's work, they set out to look into the legend of a mysterious cave in the Grand Canyon. None of them were expecting to actually find it. What follows is adventure! Horror! Mystery! But it's more fun if you don't know any of the details, so (view spoiler)[Come on, I'm not spoilering this! If it sounds good, you should read it. (hide spoiler)] I think writers of good yarns aren't always given enough credit. It takes talent to write something that is funny without being cringy, with characters you care about that can be sketched and set into motion with quick efficiency, to keep the story humming, and to wrap things up in a way that is satisfying and makes sense. I was convinced about halfway through that the team's various odd discoveries were never going to gel and I was going to be annoyed when everything was explained. I was wrong. On the negative side, the story took too long to really get going, particularly when Nolan and company first get into the cave and spend too much time exploring the rooms, which ALL LOOK THE SAME. My first "Ohhhhh shitttttt!" moment didn't come until exactly page 198. That's more than halfway in. None of which is to say this book isn't worth reading. It's fun. It's thoughtful for a roller coaster style thriller. It's got a bit of Crichton DNA, although with more humor than that guy ever had. The new-to-me author is Michael Rutger--which is a pen name for Michael Marshall Smith, whom I've also never heard of--who has written a few books and stories that have been adapted. There's a strong possibility that this will end up becoming a movie or, ideally, a TV series. I hope it does.

  10. 3 out of 5

    Benjamin Thomas

    Nolan Moore leads a team of four TV web series production crew members in an effort to retrace the path of an explorer from 1909 who made an important but mysterious discovery of a cave high up in the rock strata of the Grand Canyon. Nolan’s crew hopes to ramp up their reputation of chasing after strange conspiracy theory anomalies and turn this potential find into ratings gold and hopefully an actual TV network program. Thus, they allow a journalist and a rep for their corporate sponsor along f Nolan Moore leads a team of four TV web series production crew members in an effort to retrace the path of an explorer from 1909 who made an important but mysterious discovery of a cave high up in the rock strata of the Grand Canyon. Nolan’s crew hopes to ramp up their reputation of chasing after strange conspiracy theory anomalies and turn this potential find into ratings gold and hopefully an actual TV network program. Thus, they allow a journalist and a rep for their corporate sponsor along for the journey making for a complete party of six. When, against all odds, they actually find the rumored cave and manage to climb to its entrance (filming their documentary along the way) it remains only to discover what, exactly, lies deep within. Could there be ancient bones from human tribes that heretofore were not known to exist in North America? Could there be some sort of long lost knowledge or treasure? Could there even be evidence of alien technology? Rumors have run the gamut for years, but this production crew was about to find out…and capture it on film. I won’t spoil anything but most of this thriller novel is devoted to what they find and how they deal with it. In essence it becomes a story of survival. The author, Michael Rutger is actually the pen name for Michael Marshall Smith (Michael Marshall), novelist, short story writer and screen writer. I didn’t know this while reading the book but about half way through I remember thinking that reading this book was like watching an action-packed blockbuster movie. He certainly subscribes to the ol’ author’s tactic of putting their characters in jeopardy time and again, and just when they’ve had all they can take…make things really go bad. It was awesome! Now, I’ve read a few thousand books before this one, and many in this sort of genre, and so I feel like I’ve been through just about everything conceivable as far as what could possibly be waiting for this group of characters in that damn cave. But this was unique. And that was just one of several twists and surprises that awaited me. The whole plot is very well thought out and the writing is superb. Since the story is told via Nolan’s first person POV, it all unfolds on a deeply personal level. Above all, I thought the pacing was spot on. For a novel like this, pacing is crucial. That’s not something that is easily done, and even veteran authors sometimes fumble in this regard. There is a lot of humor throughout the book as characters interact with one another, much of it as a way to deal with what transpires. There are also some really scary scenes and one in particular that will be nesting in the back of my mind for many days to come. Even though this novel won't be published until June 2018, rumor has it that a major production company has already preemptively acquired the film rights, with at least one major director potentially attached. That happens sometimes and often nothing comes of it. But this one seems to me like the real deal. Of course, they haven't asked my opinion yet. This novel really surprised me and I’m very glad I took a chance on it. Highly recommended. Thanks to Goodreads and to the publisher for letting me have a chance to read and review the book through the Goodreads Giveaway program.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    I knew I needed to read this book when the blurb stated that the main characters would be like a modern version of Indiana Jones in an X-Files era. I LOVE Indiana Jones! Nolan Moore is a YoutTube celebrity, hosting his own web show where he's trying to find if the truth is out there ... Nolan loves mysteries, although he's not a true archaeologist. He used to be in the movies, well he was a screenwriter. But, he's very passionate when it comes to his show. This time he's retracing the step of an e I knew I needed to read this book when the blurb stated that the main characters would be like a modern version of Indiana Jones in an X-Files era. I LOVE Indiana Jones! Nolan Moore is a YoutTube celebrity, hosting his own web show where he's trying to find if the truth is out there ... Nolan loves mysteries, although he's not a true archaeologist. He used to be in the movies, well he was a screenwriter. But, he's very passionate when it comes to his show. This time he's retracing the step of an explorer from 1909 who claimed that he had found a mysterious cave in the Grand Canyon. It would be marvelous if Nolan and his team found the cave ... or would it? It turns out this little expedition may be more dangerous than Nolan had anticipated... One thing I really loved about THE ANOMALY was how it took a long time for the true horror to happen. You just know it would, and you sit there turning page after page waiting for the BAM moment. And, when it happened, WOW! This is definitely a book for thriller/sci-fi fans. A group of people put together, getting more and more paranoid, or do they have a reason to fear the unknown? Also, I had no idea what would happen. Everything was just as mysterious as for the characters in the book. Fabulous book, recommend it warmly! I want to thank Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Diatalevi

    Oh. Dear. Lord. I could NOT wait for this one to end. Many, many, many times I thought about calling it quits but I read so many reviews saying how “horrifying” and “scary” it was so I kept pushing through waiting...hoping for something scary—even remotely good to happen. It wasn’t until after page 200 that it got somewhat (and I use the term lightly) interesting. But I can assure you, at that point I went from pure boredom to “what the hell is this?!” SPOILER- unicorns, giant beasts with horns, Oh. Dear. Lord. I could NOT wait for this one to end. Many, many, many times I thought about calling it quits but I read so many reviews saying how “horrifying” and “scary” it was so I kept pushing through waiting...hoping for something scary—even remotely good to happen. It wasn’t until after page 200 that it got somewhat (and I use the term lightly) interesting. But I can assure you, at that point I went from pure boredom to “what the hell is this?!” SPOILER- unicorns, giant beasts with horns, pterodactyls...really?! Definitely wasn’t for me.

  13. 3 out of 5

    Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)

    T/W- Death, Swearing, Violence Readers, this is honestly a thriller novel that you need to add to your TBR lists, like right this second. I don't think I've ever felt so spooked about an adventurous thriller in all of my life! I would highly recommend The Anomaly to fans of Indiana Jones, Dan Brown's novels and even Stephen King's novels. A creepy read that will stick with me for a very long time! The main character Nolan is a host on a famous conspiracy theory show and one theory about a cave has T/W- Death, Swearing, Violence Readers, this is honestly a thriller novel that you need to add to your TBR lists, like right this second. I don't think I've ever felt so spooked about an adventurous thriller in all of my life! I would highly recommend The Anomaly to fans of Indiana Jones, Dan Brown's novels and even Stephen King's novels. A creepy read that will stick with me for a very long time! The main character Nolan is a host on a famous conspiracy theory show and one theory about a cave has remained for a century. According to written legends, there is famous treasure lurking behind its walls but those who seek for it, end up meeting a deadly end. Nolan and a team of friends decide to travel out and solve this mystery. Only for their experience to get creepy from the get-go. The book did start off very slowly until Nolan arrived at the cave. This moment was when the action really picked up for me. My heart was racing, edge of your seat feeling wondering what would be waiting for them. Don't read this book at bedtime! There was a great mix of history, mystery, paranormal and a bunch of other twists that combined into a novel that blew my mind. Be aware, there is a lot of swearing from the team which at times, I found to be quite distracting. Something I would read at Halloween!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nat

    This has to be one of my favourite reads of the year... It hooked me in right from the start and did not let go until the end... I loved the MC and his journey as a character.. My favourite interactions were between him (Nolan) and another character Ken... Just two very likable characters.. The Anomaly would not of been something I would normally pick up, but I am so happy I took a chance on this.. Was a brilliant adventure story, a great light read for me between harder hitting plot lines I've re This has to be one of my favourite reads of the year... It hooked me in right from the start and did not let go until the end... I loved the MC and his journey as a character.. My favourite interactions were between him (Nolan) and another character Ken... Just two very likable characters.. The Anomaly would not of been something I would normally pick up, but I am so happy I took a chance on this.. Was a brilliant adventure story, a great light read for me between harder hitting plot lines I've read of recent times.. Highly recommend to anyone who loves a good adventure story, after a light read between the hard stuff, a story where you don't have to over think it much but rather just enjoy the story as it comes, give this one a crack... Thank you to Allen & Unwin for my free uncorrected proof in exchange for an honest review..

  15. 4 out of 5

    Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)

    This review can also be found here! 4.5/5 TW: mentions of cheating and slight gore I read this book in one day. Nearly in one sitting, actually. We had workers all around the house to do stuff with our A/C (we had to get a new one and this was the final step of making it the most efficient it could be), so I was sitting in the kitchen and just read. There were a couple other books that I had planned on getting to during that time, but, literally, I just read this book. I read all of it and it was glo This review can also be found here! 4.5/5 TW: mentions of cheating and slight gore I read this book in one day. Nearly in one sitting, actually. We had workers all around the house to do stuff with our A/C (we had to get a new one and this was the final step of making it the most efficient it could be), so I was sitting in the kitchen and just read. There were a couple other books that I had planned on getting to during that time, but, literally, I just read this book. I read all of it and it was glorious. One of my favorite TV personalities is Josh Gates. I first got to know him by watching Destination Truth on Netflix when they had it on there, then I tuned into his new show, Expedition Unknown. Expedition Unknown is more about him actually trying to find things like Cleopatra’s tomb, pirate gold, proof of Nazis in Argentina, and other conspiracy theories. It’s professional, although Josh typically works in his usual humor. Whereas, Destination Unknown is him traipsing the globe to find cryptozoological creatures and proof of ghosts. This book was as if something went terribly wrong on Expedition Unknown and he was suddenly in Destination Truth but they actually found something besides what might be a Bigfoot print. I got this as one of my June Book of the Month choices and I couldn’t have picked something better. I’ve been in the mood for paranormal/horror/thriller stories and this fit exactly what I want it to. Rutger did exactly what I needed and more. The basic story is that Nolan Moore is the star of a YouTube series where he tries to find proof of conspiracy theories. The series finally got backed up by a sponsor, so they were able to do another season, taking them to The Grand Canyon in search of a secret cavern that was found years ago by two Smithsonian funded professors, Jordan and Kinkaid. It was then covered up. You can find more about it here, but the biggest thing is that most people assume that it was a fake article and people don’t believe in it. But, Nolan, of course, has to see if he can find it. And he does. Which then goes terribly wrong. For me, it was just a fun, quick, summer read. I didn’t have to pay too close attention to it. I could just read it and put it down just to pick it back up after talking with the workers and jumped right back in. It’s one of those perfect summer or beach reads because it holds your attention. Of course, I didn’t think it was perfect. I liked the ending, but the stuff close to the ending didn’t work for me. I didn’t think that it needed that addition, even though certain things had to be summed up. All of the characters were fantastic, too. I loved them all and I found them fun to have this journey with. Nolan and Ken, the producer, were hilarious. I also loved Molly, the one in charge of finances. Pierre and Feather were definitely interesting, too. Basically, this was a great read that I didn’t know I needed until I had it in my hands.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The Anomaly is just the kind of James Rollins novel I love - an action-packed tale full of quippy characters in exotic locales that takes two facts and turns them into something that skirts the edges of both science fiction and horror. Except Anomaly isn't Rollins, it's Rutger - a pseudonym for a California-based screenwriter - who lacks Rollins' ability to slow boil a reader in how implausibly nuts his plots are until it's too late to care. To his credit, Rutger starts out with a killer premise: The Anomaly is just the kind of James Rollins novel I love - an action-packed tale full of quippy characters in exotic locales that takes two facts and turns them into something that skirts the edges of both science fiction and horror. Except Anomaly isn't Rollins, it's Rutger - a pseudonym for a California-based screenwriter - who lacks Rollins' ability to slow boil a reader in how implausibly nuts his plots are until it's too late to care. To his credit, Rutger starts out with a killer premise: Over a hundred years ago, a Smithsonian-funded exhibition to a cave discovered high on a cliff wall in the Grand Canyon turned up a handful of unusual relics before being suddenly abandoned and covered-up by the museum. Former screenwriter and current host of The Anomaly Files - think a History Channel-does-The X-Files YouTube series - Nolan Moore thinks he's managed to pinpoint the location of the lost cave, and he and his producer and crew, shadowed by a skeptical journalist and the flower-child representative of the Woo-Woo group funding them, head into the canyon in the hopes of filming something spectacular enough to help them make the jump from 'netcast to cable. What they find, etc. etc., cue weirdness and screaming and the occasional gruesome death. Rutger has a nice touch with dialogue, and it's refreshing that Nolan, through whose eyes we see the action, isn't your traditionally cut A-list macho lead - he's middle aged and feeling it, just old enough and slightly overweight enough to feel moderately annoyed by his younger, hotter cameraman, but not so testosterone soaked that he feels the need to do anything more than roll his eyes at himself about it. Generally, though, the characters are completely flat, and I say that as someone who loved foul-mouthed, hard-drinking producer Ken, who was nothing but attitude and appetite. Ken is actually the perfect horror-movie comic-relief sidekick (the job description of which generally requires some flatness of character), but what works on film fares less well on the page, particularly when the rest of your cast are mobile cardboard cut outs. A strong plot or deft sense of horror could have compensated for the character issues -after all, you don't need to know much or feel much about redshirts - but in the end the story is simply too silly and the author too squeamish. The Anomaly Files feels like a pilot Rutger's pitching, and some of its problems are likely due to him not wanting to limit future options. Unfortunately for him, there are other authors out there doing the same pseudo-science-action-horror shtick - some of whom are doing it much, much better - and his novel is less an Anomaly in the genre than a mediocre average.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    The Anomaly. By the man of many Michaels. There were some truly interesting elements here that I wish were explored sooner and more in depth. The characters were interesting enough and drawn well, but unfortunately, the generic elements of the story outweighed the unique and it slowed it way down for me. There were several periods of little action with an occasional info dump thrown in here and there. It felt like the story was having a hard time finding its way. What was it? Thriller? Sci-Fi? Hor The Anomaly. By the man of many Michaels. There were some truly interesting elements here that I wish were explored sooner and more in depth. The characters were interesting enough and drawn well, but unfortunately, the generic elements of the story outweighed the unique and it slowed it way down for me. There were several periods of little action with an occasional info dump thrown in here and there. It felt like the story was having a hard time finding its way. What was it? Thriller? Sci-Fi? Horror? Action/Adventure? A TV mini-series? It seemed scattered and never really found its identity. A perfectly serviceable Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Thriller thang. Maybe it should be a mini-series. Entertaining enough, but ultimately, just better than ok.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Thebooktrail

    I read this at night I couldn't sleep I was transfixed by those mountains, that Canyon, that cavern What an adventure! I've been trekking in the Grand Canyon but nothing like this! It's thrilling and horrific beyond belief Very clever, atmospheric and deliciously dark "The Beach" for the trekkers and trailers of the travel world Full review once I've recovered

  19. 3 out of 5

    Margie

    The Anomaly, which begins with a spine-tingling prologue and for which film rights have already been acquired, strongly resembles an Indiana Jones script. The author, mindful of this, even mentions Indiana Jones at one point. As much as I liked the Indiana Jones movies, I was rolling my eyes at some of the inane scenes and dialogue in this book, especially in the beginning chapters. I knew I should stop reading after this blatantly misogynistic description of one the characters, Molly, an associ The Anomaly, which begins with a spine-tingling prologue and for which film rights have already been acquired, strongly resembles an Indiana Jones script. The author, mindful of this, even mentions Indiana Jones at one point. As much as I liked the Indiana Jones movies, I was rolling my eyes at some of the inane scenes and dialogue in this book, especially in the beginning chapters. I knew I should stop reading after this blatantly misogynistic description of one the characters, Molly, an associate producer, "Molly is Ken's bitch for anything to do with work . . ." p. 9. Regretfully, my compulsive reading habit and the short chapters led me down the page-turning path from one creepy incident to another, the number of which would overwhelm most two hour movies. Rather than exciting, the incidents started to become tiresome, especially as they piled up one after another toward the end. I found myself thinking, "Just get it over with!" The prologue turned out to be the scariest part of the book. Briefly, the story follows Nolan Moore, an amateur archaeologist, writer and star of a paranormal YouTube show called The Anomaly Files. Moore sets out with his director, cameraman, assistant producer and two others on an expedition to find a cave high on the cliffs of the Grand Canyon. The cave was mentioned in a newspaper article in 1909 and since then its existence has been denied and buried in the secret files of the Smithsonian. Sound like Indiana Jones? If you are into archaeological expeditions into hidden caves, the paranormal, and end-of-the-world scenarios, wait for the movie and save yourself the price of a book. This book could have used some serious editing especially from Rutger's two women editors who let the "bitch" description go by. Hopefully Hollywood editors will do a better job; I'm betting they will.

  20. 3 out of 5

    Larissa (Book Bosomed Blonde)

    Brilliant story!! I really enjoyed this book. It was so eerie and creepy but freaking great, and exciting.  Full review to come soon.

  21. 3 out of 5

    Kate

    As has been said, there is something of the Indiana Jones about this magnificent thriller. It delivers on every level from start to finish and is extremely well-written and brilliantly imagined. Caves and I are done with each other..... if I should see one again, I'm walking the other way. This is most definitely worth a pre-order.

  22. 5 out of 5

    The Behrg

    Fantastic read - full review soon.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Asha

    I’d like to think Michael Crichton would give this a thumbs up.

  24. 3 out of 5

    Julia Cardamone

    Uhg, I'm absolutely torn here, so ultimately going with a solid 3 stars. First and foremost, I could not and did not put this down. I finished it all in one sitting and don't regret that at all. The first 3/4ths or maybe even 4/5ths of this book are completely spell binding. I was taken away and swallowed whole by the premise from page 1. And then, geez, so many amazing, unexpected plot twists. I spent my entire read with my nose dug into the pages and completely on my toes. Not to mention, I love Uhg, I'm absolutely torn here, so ultimately going with a solid 3 stars. First and foremost, I could not and did not put this down. I finished it all in one sitting and don't regret that at all. The first 3/4ths or maybe even 4/5ths of this book are completely spell binding. I was taken away and swallowed whole by the premise from page 1. And then, geez, so many amazing, unexpected plot twists. I spent my entire read with my nose dug into the pages and completely on my toes. Not to mention, I love Nolan and Ken. Thier banter was well done, personalities well developed, and witty commentary was a great comic relief to the otherwise very suspenseful plot. Plus the writing was very well done! But then... then the ending. Aside from the fact that things got pretty outlandish, there were a few plot points and writing devices that ultimately turned me completely off when I needed to care most. Warning - I kept this vague, but to fully express my disappointment, I have to dive into what I thought. !!!!Vague spoilers below!!! Number 1: VILLIAN MONOLOGUE. please. just no. that's not realistic at all. Number 2: #possiblevaguespoiler# As a reader, deaths should have some meaning. I have a trust that when a character dies, particularly in a dramatic or self-sacrificing way, (and when there is no hope of surviving) they are actually dead. This goes to reason when a secondary, completely unbeneficial character dies, they should be dead. Not, you know, needlessly alive? Just saying, that pissed me off. Number 3: Cliche "escape from impending death by just keeping him talking long enough to...." plot device. no thanks Number 4: Can someone please tell me how the premise got so completely batshit crazy there at the end? I was completely good with the 'arch' thing, and prehistoric stuff. That's awesome. But, geez, that escalated quickly from there... Number 5: The dragged out ending. Climax is only supposed to be so long. It took way to long to wrap up. Of a 330 page book, the climax is not supposed to 50 pages of perilous escaping over and over. Sure, wrap it all up nicely, but don't drag it out forever. Over all, yes I absolutely enjoyed it. The author enthralled me, right up till probably 50 pages until the end. From that point though, the disappointment was all to real. So like I said, I'm absolutely torn for this review...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rose (Traveling Sister)

    "But your soul knows. Your soul most likely had an inkling long before the events you're struggling to comprehend had even occurred, sensitive as it is to currents and changes too subtle for the conscious mind to observe, and responsive as it can be to the futures shaping themselves in front of you. And so your soul sits waiting for you to catch up." - Michael Rutger, The Anomaly --------------------------- Due to the fact that I haven't read science fiction in years, I don't have much to gauge The "But your soul knows. Your soul most likely had an inkling long before the events you're struggling to comprehend had even occurred, sensitive as it is to currents and changes too subtle for the conscious mind to observe, and responsive as it can be to the futures shaping themselves in front of you. And so your soul sits waiting for you to catch up." - Michael Rutger, The Anomaly --------------------------- Due to the fact that I haven't read science fiction in years, I don't have much to gauge The Anomaly against and therefore wouldn't feel comfortable giving it any more or less than 4 stars. This is not a book to finish at midnight, as I did. My husband, whom I woke and legitimately asked to check the house for monsters can vouch for this. I don't really watch movies - and definitely not blockbusters. I don't care about Indiana Jones, and I care only slightly more about the original Jurassic Park. I'm not itching to watch them again, and I'm about exactly NONE of that sequel nonsense. But I can appreciate the homage that Rutger paid to Crichton and, from a cinematic standpoint, Lucas and Spielberg. Rutger is a screenwriter as well, which is so evident it hurts. This worked to his advantage in terms of making sure that the pace stayed steady and the characters were dynamic. However, as lovable and unique as they were, I got a little miffed when light banter continued at unlikely moments between the main scavenger, Nolan, and his British producer, Ken. BOYS. MEN. YOU ARE BLEEDING FROM MANY AREAS OF YOUR BODY AND CAVE MONGRELS ARE CHASING YOU. PLEASE STOP WITH THE WITTY BACK-AND-FORTH. That happens a lot in the movie world, but I find that readers don't need as much, um...comic relief...in the middle of stressful scenes? It made me laugh at times, which I guess is a good thing, but it wasn't always 1000% appropriate. If you are not good at visualizing spaces and making mental maps, this book will frustrate you. I did a decent job staying on top of the various chambers, crevices, and caves, but any more would've just been bananas (not to mention a waste of pages). There's a lot of exploring happening here. I think it's necessary, but it may seem repetitive to some. This book appealed to me as a lover of all things A) American Southwest and B) political. While I've not read Dan Brown's tomes yet, I know enough to draw some sort of comparison here. Government secrets. Secret societies. Societies lost. I think Rutger handled the religious and conspiratorial undertones in a smart way, both throwing shade at their batty constituents and embracing the likelihood that things are deliberately kept off public record. The ending, or big reveal, was incredibly original. I'm not sure if it was explained in a way that would make sense to everyone, but all of the pieces were there. I am almost certain that this book is but the first in a longer series to come.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Beverley Albright

    I won this book on the goodreads giveaway. I would, actually, give this book 3.5 stars. At first, I thought this book was hokum. It had every Indiana Jones movie, every Destination Truth and Expedition Unknown episode reference or recreation imaginable. Even the author was making fun of this fact. I kept thinking, this guy can write so why doesn't me make up his own stuff? But once he got all that out of his system, the story began in earnest. It turned out to be really worthwhile. I didn't unders I won this book on the goodreads giveaway. I would, actually, give this book 3.5 stars. At first, I thought this book was hokum. It had every Indiana Jones movie, every Destination Truth and Expedition Unknown episode reference or recreation imaginable. Even the author was making fun of this fact. I kept thinking, this guy can write so why doesn't me make up his own stuff? But once he got all that out of his system, the story began in earnest. It turned out to be really worthwhile. I didn't understand exactly who or what was behind the whole thing, but this didn't diminish my enjoyment of the story. The characters were well developed and there were a couple of twists and turns that made you sit up a bit. All in all, a very enjoyable read. I would definitely read another of Mr. Rutger's stories.

  27. 3 out of 5

    Nancy

    If you're looking for a fast-paced Indiana Jones/Dan Brown kind of adventure, this is it! A conspiracy theory YouTuber and his crew discover something real and dangerous while filming for an episode. I loved the overall plot. It was creepy, exciting, edge-of-my-seat material, but still intelligent and interesting. There was some clumsiness in establishing characters and their personalities, but overall it was a great read. I couldn't put the book down, and the ending was surprisingly satisfying. If you're looking for a fast-paced Indiana Jones/Dan Brown kind of adventure, this is it! A conspiracy theory YouTuber and his crew discover something real and dangerous while filming for an episode. I loved the overall plot. It was creepy, exciting, edge-of-my-seat material, but still intelligent and interesting. There was some clumsiness in establishing characters and their personalities, but overall it was a great read. I couldn't put the book down, and the ending was surprisingly satisfying. Lots of twists. The comparison to Indiana Jones for the modern-set is true! Thank you to Book of the Month for the ARC!

  28. 3 out of 5

    Wendy

    What a belter of a book. Chillingly entertaining and a thundering good read. Allow me to offer five reasons why this plucky amateurs’ quest into the unknown kept me glued to my seat: • Its sheer originality. • Re-invents why you should be afraid of the dark. • Genius conversational volleys. • Commendable application of ominous and unpredictable circumstances • A sterling cast that’s impressively relatable, especially when there’s cause for concern – which is something they experience A LOT. The Anomal What a belter of a book. Chillingly entertaining and a thundering good read. Allow me to offer five reasons why this plucky amateurs’ quest into the unknown kept me glued to my seat: • Its sheer originality. • Re-invents why you should be afraid of the dark. • Genius conversational volleys. • Commendable application of ominous and unpredictable circumstances • A sterling cast that’s impressively relatable, especially when there’s cause for concern – which is something they experience A LOT. The Anomaly harnessed all this and more. It takes full advantage of all five of your senses by creating thoroughly nightmarish scenarios to put a whole new spin on fictional fear. For me to expand further would derail your own reading experience and I’m so not going to do that. Trust me. It’s 100% better for you discover this one without the slightest indication of what you’re letting yourself in for, just like the characters in pursuit of the inexplicable… “In search for the truth, it matters not whether we find. It matters only that we continue to seek.” (I received a digital copy of this title courtesy of the publisher via Netgalley - with my thanks - which I voluntary chose to read and review.)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Emily

    This book was so crazy! And Good! And ridiculous! And I just loved it! I really enjoyed the writing - great voice for the main character, Nolan - loved his sarcasm, his wit, and dryness to the narration. Great supporting cast of characters as well. This is like...sci-fi/horror/suspense, and I thought that it was done very well. The suspense was done very well - I was SO nervous for these people, and I can't imagine being in those caves in the dark, facing what they did. Great book! This author mi This book was so crazy! And Good! And ridiculous! And I just loved it! I really enjoyed the writing - great voice for the main character, Nolan - loved his sarcasm, his wit, and dryness to the narration. Great supporting cast of characters as well. This is like...sci-fi/horror/suspense, and I thought that it was done very well. The suspense was done very well - I was SO nervous for these people, and I can't imagine being in those caves in the dark, facing what they did. Great book! This author might be one to keep an eye out for - looking forward to what he thinks up next!

  30. 3 out of 5

    Katie

    This novel has great characters and an entertaining story. The pacing was a little slow in the middle of the novel but that is my only complaint. I really enjoyed where the story went.

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