Nom de Plume Rating: ★★★★★
Reading Time: 4 minutes
*FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of Hollow Fissure from Max Stone in exchange for an honest review. I have in no way been influenced by the author and/or publisher’s generosity. You can’t fake these stars, baby!
The well-meaning and meddlesome Mr. and Mrs. Aden want nothing more than to protect their only daughter, Hannah.
After her childhood kidnapping in Somalia and a final showdown in Italy against the monster responsible, nineteen-year-old Hannah just wants back the life stolen from her.
She isn’t naïve like her mother believes. Frequent flashes of past terrors assure her that the healing process is far from over. At the same time, she’d hardly use her dad’s words and call herself “strong” or “brave.” That description belongs to Melissa Bennett, the woman who almost died saving her.
Melissa doesn’t feel much like the hero she’s being hailed.
While she is glad to have saved a life for once, the one she’d almost taken continues to haunt her dreams and stall her recovery.
Despite her good deed and continuous help from friends and family abroad and Kyle—the father of her little girl—she knows her days of freedom are numbered.
First Line: “She should be home with her family.”
“She is a naive girl. She insists on doing everything herself. Like she has no parents to care for her. If she had just stayed with us, just listened to us, this…This man would have never come back to hurt her again.”
Hollow Fissure is Book 4 in the Warren/Bennett/Johnson (New England) Series.
No, I have not read the others in the series…who reads books in order these days, anyways?! Like, gag! The truth is I’m a complete space cadet and will read anything handed to me even if it’s the tenth novel amidst a consecutive list of books.
I must say, my compulsive reading disorder bit me in the butt on this one. While reading the first page I was lost amidst all of the characters introduced. I know…I kept asking myself, should I have read the other titles in this series first? Doubt, confusion…what the HECK is going on?
BUT! I turned the page and I went from being submerged in a tiny casket full of water, to suddenly seeing LIGHT! I was a NEW WOMAN! It was at that moment that I was first introduced to our protagonist; well, one of them.
Implanting Hannah after the chaos known as “page 1” was freaking brilliant. There were, like, five sextillion names mentioned at first! Max Stone puts Archimedes to shame! I was desperately searching for a character to identify with. Oooo and I latched on to Hannah like a parasite because she was the only stable reference point. *snort* Intentional or not, let’s keep it simple and say Max Stone is masterful.
On to the juju!
We first meet Hannah while she’s listening to her parents talk about her in another room. They’re worried, scared, angry; the list goes on! Don’t worry about Hannah! She has friends one friend. Yes, one very dreamy six foot eight friend.
? Even as Gabriel learns Hannah’s story—that she was a victim of sex trafficking as a child—he doesn’t judge, or pity. Umm can I order a large McGabriel please?
It is not long until the storyline transitions to Melissa, the girl who “saved” Hannah. I was disappointed that the plot moved away from Hannah, but (as I suggested earlier) Hannah isn’t the only protagonist here!
Le sigh. We also have Leann (who is probably my favorite and was straight up ABDUCTED on her prom night).
What do we get when we have more women introduced? Umm swoony men, of course!
Jon clasped his hand around hers. “Close your eyes.”
“What are you up to?”
“Just close them.”
“Okay.” She complied and he led her straight. They stopped a moment and then the sound of doors opening was followed by cool air.
“Jon, why are we outside?”
“All right, all right,” Jon said, letting her go. “You can open them now.” In the private backyard, white candle lanterns adorned the edge of the deck itself and hung down low from its roof. Rose petals littered the space from the backdoor to down the deck steps…
“Oh wow. My favorite,” Leeann chuckled, remarking on first the setting and then the table’s floral arrangement. “Is this an apology?”
“This,” Jon began, revealing a small clear box holding a satin ribboned corsage, “is your prom…Because I love you and I want to give this back to you,” Jon answered. Thoughts of their abduction on the night of their prom flooded his mind. He pushed [them] out…
Staaahp. I volunteer to get abducted if it leads me to a man like THAT. #IVolunteerAsTribute!
Dark. Sexy. Fresh. Hollow Fissure is beautifully written. It is a short three chapter piece and we follow our protagonists as they learn to heal, forgive and we also get a little glimpse of the romance in their lives. *eyebrow waggle* This novella is meant to be a transitioning point in the series; the series I have not read (yet) and the men act as catalysts leading our heroines on their journeys.
But with the threats still looming in the dark, I have no idea what’s going to become of them. Book 5 needs to come, like, yesterday.
So what am I going to do now? I’m going to read the first three books in this series. AND I’m feeling frivolous…mayhap I’ll even start with Book One.