Centralia

CentraliaCentralia by Mike Dellosso
Series: Jed Patrick
Genres: Suspense, Thriller
Published by Tyndale Publishing on June 1, 2015
Pages: 373
Also in this series: Kill Devil
Also by this author: Kill Devil

 

Peter Ryan woke up one morning to find his wife and daughter missing and his mind full of random fragmented memories. Trying to put the pieces of his life together, he is told his wife and daughter died in a car accident. But why can’t he remember such a traumatic event? When he’s able to incapacitate three armed intruders with skills no research professor should possess, the questions start to mount. Who is he? What exactly does he know? How did he acquire the skills he seems to possess? What is behind that fourth door in his reoccurring dream? Forced to flee the only environment he somewhat remembers, Peter finds himself in a desperate race to find answers before he is discontinued. With a furious pace, nice twists, and deep deceptions, Centralia is a perfect choice for summer reading.

With a furious pace, nice twists, and deep deceptions, Centralia is a perfect choice for summer reading.

Mike Dellosso has always had a knack for putting together nice, tight novels that read quick and easy. While there is always a wonderful depth to each book, the reader rarely has to wade through sections to get to the good stuff. Continuing this type of writing, Centralia has a fast start and rarely slows down. However, unlike Mike’s previous books, this one is less speculative and much more straight up thriller. Though I do miss the speculative content, overall the thriller aspect fits this book exceptionally well.

I wouldn’t be surprised to find out this was a difficult book to write.

I wouldn’t be surprised to find out this was a difficult book to write. Given the overarching plot, there is a need to keep certain aspects secret, but not so secret as to frustrate the reader. While Mike does a nice job of keeping things in balance, at times it feels odd, as though things should be revealed that aren’t. However, once the whole picture is presented it becomes obvious as to why the story is told as it is.

In many ways Centralia reminds me Ted Dekker’s Saint. The main characters are both in a similar situation, but the underlying themes and direction of the stories are different. I find it interesting that both authors are able to take a similar premise, but create very different stories. Readers who have read and enjoyed Saint, will most likely want to read this one as well.

Readers who have read and enjoyed Ted Dekker’s Saint, will most likely want to read this one as well.

Due to the book’s plot, the timeline is a little difficult to follow and I’m still not sure I completely understand the when of the events. Perhaps this will not bother other readers, but I like to be able to place things in an order, and that really isn’t feasible with this book.

Mike always provides some excellent spiritual content for his readers. Often times the spiritual portion of the book cannot be separated from the fictional story and there be a story left. However, with Centralia, the Christian aspect of the book is much less integral to the story. I’m not sure what I think about this either. Change is good, but there has always been something very special about the way Mike presents the spiritual content in his books that is unique to his writing—I’ll have to think on this more. Regardless, there are some great spiritual elements and excellent themes for the reader to consider.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Peter is especially likable and his fragmented mind makes for a very compelling character. Though I couldn’t always buy into their reasoning, the villains are worthy adversaries with interesting personalities. Additionally, the conflicting feelings amongst the organization’s members, adds a nice depth to the story and keeps the group from feeling cliché.

I very much enjoyed Centralia. The story is quite entertaining and characters interesting to follow. While the spiritual elements aren’t completely integrated, they are thought-provoking. Overall, I found this to be a fun, fast-paced story that is a perfect summer vacation book.

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