Thursday, March 7, 2013

Book Review: Traces of Kara

I owe Melissa Foster a *slight* apology because I was very generously gifted with the responsibility of doing an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) review of her newest book,Traces of Kara, with the understanding that - whether love it or hate it - I would post a review within two days of the expected publication date (3/1).

Aaaand, then my back went out. Aaaand, I've been on pain meds. Aaaand, I've been very loopy and sick.

I truly, truly did not want to do something as serious as review some one's novel while feeling this way and not having my heart in it 100%. Because this is her baby, the result of a ton of work and research and passion poured into every page. And if it were my book, I'd want my readers to really think about the feedback they give before they give it. Because as a writer, IT MATTERS!

With that said, I did post my reviews on both Goodreads and Amazon, as all good little ARC reviewers should. But I also want to share snippets of it here and encourage you to read her book. Why? Because it was great. I really, really enjoyed it. And if you are at all into psychological thrillers (think Sandra Brown or Nora Roberts style), then you'll like this one too. {Click on Goodreads link above for full review.}

Traces of Kara, Melissa Foster
  • Currently ranked #1 in Drama on Amazon.
  • Available through Kindle and paperback.
  • Released February, 2013.
  • Has a 5-star rating from reviewers.

Traces of Kara, by Melissa Foster, took me by surprise. I knew it was going to be more intense and grittier than her previous novels, but this was a full on, dark thriller that thrusts you right into the action and never stops...

What I loved about this book was its villain. Even though this may have been "Kara's book" - it just as much belonged to Roland (her psychotic brother) and, later, her mother Mimi...

...There is no question who the bad guy is and what he's about to do and why. And that works in this novel. The heart of the novel isn't just about WHO is stalking Kara and WHAT he does about it, but it's just as much about the WHY. Roland from the start is just this larger than life, psychotic, obsessed, chilling villain. He's not the type you kinda feel sorry for. No, he's just effed up and crazy. And that makes him a delicious villain because he's in it to the end. He's out for blood...

I kind of equate this book to a cotton candy roller coaster ride. It's an easy read; you will have no problem flying through this book in a day or two at most. The action just pulls you along at a fast pace and once you're in the heart of the story in the power plant, it's hard to set down and get out. It's a book you bring on vacation and just FLY through. And that's a good thing. But it's not all sweet - there are definitely tension pulls, suspense, smack-your-head-at-characters-stupid-moves moments (No! Don't run into the basement! Run away! Get help!). And yes, there's blood. But really, it's not as bad as it could've been. Foster does a beautiful job with what I call "tactful violence" vs. "gratuitous violence"...


  1. Great review! I love your analogy of cotton candy on a roller coaster ride. I also interviewed Melissa on my blog and reviewed Traces of Kara. The book just pulls you along and was creepy but in a good way. I loved the mother/daughter storyline.

    1. I just read your review too! You're a wonderful writer & I felt the same way you did after reading this. And yes, the mother/daughter relationship and evolution was one of the sweet surprises of the novel. I stayed up half the night thinking about Roland and those dang spooky, dark hallways! *bites nails* But, in a good way! Thanks so much for the feedback!