Many have likened this novel to King’s “Firestarter” and it is very easy to see why. We have a little girl, with unimaginable power, an evil institution trying to bend and wield her power and an unlikely hero trying to save the child. Kenyon even named a secondary character “Charlie” as if to acknowledge the similarities and give homage to King. But “The Reach” although it shares so many similarities, reads as an entirely different story.
Short Synopsis: Jess Chambers is a star student in Psychiatry… she has come to the attention of her professor, Dr. Jean Shelley. Dr. Shelley decides to put Jess to the test on a very special patient… a little girl by the name of Sarah who has spent her entire life in an institution, the girl is diagnosed as schizophrenic and has not spoken in months. “Just try to befriend her, see if she will open up to you” Dr. Shelley tells Jess. What they didn’t count on was the door they opened by inviting Jess into Sarah’s life, and what it would lead to in the end. A series of twists and turns later… we come to an explosive ending that would make for great film.
From the opening scene I loved this book. It was fun, exciting, and elicited a concern from the reader for many of the characters. Who is good, who is bad, who is lying, who is truly in need, who can be trusted… the tables turn over and over as Jess tries to piece together the life of Sarah, and help her to come into her own. Men in dark suits with guns and scientists with nasty ambitions soon come into the picture and Jess finds that no one can be trusted. Is Sarah evil? Is she truly the antichrist as her family believes? Or is just a scared little girl with an unholy power?
The book moves quickly, you will find yourself whipping through the pages until you explode into the ending. The author has said that this is the first in a series of possibly 3 books, but don’t let that stop you. Kenyon DOES wrap this one up nicely – no cliff hangers to leave you angry or frustrated. To be honest, I did not find this book to be scary – I found it to be more entertaining than anything else. I highly recommend this book, Kenyon was good when he wrote “Bloodstone” and he is even better with “The Reach” I look forward to his next novel.