Thursday, August 11, 2011

Book Review: Torn

Media Type: Book
Title: Torn
Author: Erica O'Rourke
Publisher: Kensington
Pages: Paperback; 336
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Source: Publisher
Content Screening: Mild violence; sexual situations

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy multi-layered reads with strong characters.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Librarything / Amazon / B&N
Everyone has secrets. Even best friends.

Swirling black descends like ravens, large enough to block the glow of the streetlights. A dull roar starts like a train on the 'L', a far-away rumbling that grows louder as it pulls closer, until it's directly overhead and you feel it in your chest, except this doesn't pass you by. Verity, white-faced and eyes blazing, shouts through the din, "Run, Mo!"

Mo Fitzgerald knows about secrets. But when she witnesses her best friend's murder, she discovers Verity was hiding things she never could have guessed. To find the answers she needs and the vengeance she craves, Mo—quiet, ordinary, unmagical Mo—will have to enter a world of raw magic and shifting alliances. And she'll have to choose between two very different, equally dangerous guys—protective, duty-bound Colin and brash, mysterious Luc. One wants to save her, one wants to claim her. Which would you choose?

There is so much wrapped up in Torn that it's not exactly easy to review. A bit of murder, lots of magic, and a love triangle that is messy and intriguing. Add it all up and you have a book that is equal parts contemporary fiction and paranormal fiction. Pretty amazing combination wouldn't you think? Sadly I'm honestly still stuck on how I feel about this book.

Maura is a fairly strong character overall, but it was tough for me to like her at the beginning. As a reader I saw that Erica O'Rourke was working to create a character that could grow into her own. Maura's inability to feel strength comes from many sources around her, including her own family hiding her in the shadows and keeping secrets from her. However there were times when she bordered on whining and it really bothered me. Once she broke out of her shell, and found her inner strength, things between us were much better. I finally felt a connection to her at the end of the book.

In terms of romance, there's plenty of steam between Maura and the two men she comes into contact with. Delicious love triangle anyone? Luc and Collin are two sides of the spectrum. Luc is charismatic and self-assured, while Collin is quiet, stoic and reserved. To be honest I thought the two of them were perfect foils for the two parts of Maura's life. If I were in her shoes, I'd have just as much trouble choosing as she does. I'm still not a hundred percent sure if her interest in both of them makes sense but it is Maura's life, not mine.

The world building in Torn was rather good. The magic is explained well, and I enjoyed the way that it was attached to the elements. My only complaint here is that I would have liked a better glimpse into the people behind the magic. The Arcs are mentioned a few times as the keepers of the magic, but never fully fleshed out. Even Luc, who is an important character, doesn't have much back story in terms of his abilities. I hope that in the sequel there will be more explanation of the world Maura has been dropped into. That was what really held my attention, and kept me wanting more.

My feelings for Torn are just so mixed. I feel just as lost as Maura at this point. What I can definitely say is that this book kept me reading until the last page, which means a lot. I am definitely looking forward to book two, to see if the things I missed are explained there. As a complete package, this was a good introduction into Maura's world. I now wait to find out what happens next.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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