The Reader by MK Harkins

“This looks like a normal neighborhood,” I said. “We’re back,” Devon shouted to the gatehouse guard. Dressed in a blue military uniform, the stocky male sentry wore a rifle slung over his shoulder. “I take it back. This is not normal.” “The guard is here for us. It’s important we have privacy.” Archer unrolled his window and flashed some sort of badge.”

I anticipated a futurist tale, though not too far in the future as it wasn’t based off world. Perhaps some telepathy and telekinesis, that sort of thing.

It started with Ann waking up on a beach, but thinking she was dead, or almost dead; until some kids come across her and shriek as she moves. Maybe she is a zombie? She comes around a bit more and realises that she needs to find somewhere safe. It is as she is planning a safe route off the beach that she is found by two young men who set about trying to help her.

Ann is uncertain about her entire situation and to compound things, she has completely lost her memory. Though when they ask her if she is a reader, she remembers a room of books and agrees that she likes to read.
From here Ann is taken by the two young men to a gated community and from there into safe haven where she is introduced to ‘family and friends’ and encouraged to feel at home, while she recovers her memory.

Once settled, the strange behaviour of those nearest to her within the community puzzles her, as they either seem to compete for her attention or warn her to stay away from certain individuals for her own safety. Other events put her in direct danger and she and others must fight for their lives.

I enjoyed the story. It reminded me of a couple of other ‘series’ that I have read and enjoyed: The Aliomenti Saga by Alex Albrinck and The girl in the box series by Robert J Crane. If you read and enjoyed either (or both) of these series, then I am sure that you will enjoy this one. If you haven’t, try them after reading this!

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

4/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Official description:
Hunted, shot, and without her memory, eighteen-year-old Ann Baker wakes in shallow water on a deserted Pacific Northwest island. She is soon approached by two young men claiming to be her friends. Something isn’t right, but when gunshots sound, Ann is left with little choice but to allow Devon and Archer to help her escape. Soon she finds herself in their North Bend mountain compound, where the higher evolved humans claim to be mind-readers. While Ann heals, she realizes they believe her to be one of the last and most powerful of all – The Lost One. She’s welcomed by most with opened arms, but not everyone is happy about her arrival. A jealous adversary has plans for Ann, which spirals the entire Reader community into chaos. As lies, murder, and betrayal threaten to rip apart the once harmonious mountain dwellers, Ann is thrust into making a decision that could save or devastate not only The Readers, but all of mankind. But there’s just one glitch: by doing so it may require her to make the ultimate sacrifice.

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