Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Centralia by Mike Dellosso

Peter Ryan wakes up on a typical morning only to find his house empty, his wife and daughter nowhere to be found. His world is shattered after a phone call to a friend confirms the impossible: his wife and daughter died in a car accident he does not remember. 
Haunted by faint memories and flashes of details, Peter becomes convinced that something isn’t right and begins to question reality. When he discovers a note in his daughter’s handwriting, strange memories begin to surface that cause him to second-guess nearly everything he once believed. Suddenly armed men show up at Peter’s home, turning the mysterious puzzle of his past into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. 
On the run and unsure whom to trust, Peter has to discover what’s real and what isn’t . . . before he loses everything.

You can find his books on Amazon or other online sources
Mike is the author of seven novels of suspense and several short stories. He also writes family dramas under the pseudonym, Michael King. In addition to his novels he's written for periodicals, websites, and is a regular conference teacher and speaker. Born in Baltimore, Mike now resides in Pennsylvania. He is also a colon cancer survivor and speaks often about dealing with suffering. 
Find out more about Mike on his website  www.MikeDellossoBooks.com.

I received this book courtesy of bookfun.org and Tyndale in exchange for my honest opinion.

My Take:
Peter Ryan is on a mission to find his wife and daughter, even though everyone is telling him they are dead. Awakening one day with a sense that his reality is a bit off, finding a note from his daughter, then having his home invaded by some pretty tough characters, he takes off looking for answers. He is repeatedly attacked and chased after, with no knowledge of why or who is doing this. When his ability to fight back, amazes even himself, he begins to wonder if all he knows to be true now is somehow a different reality. The only thing he is sure of, it that if he can find Centralia, he will find answers. But will he get there alive?

There were pros and cons to this book. At first I was drawn in to the story, captured by the immediate action and suspense, but eventually, I felt a little lost, kind of like the person in the story himself with no idea of what was going on, who could be trusted, what these people were after, and the purpose behind it. It was, however, mysterious and intriguing enough to keep me reading, and of course I wanted to know what was going to happen.

What I enjoyed:
The plot maybe not completely original, but interesting)
The action
Most of the characters - especially the little girl with her steadfast faith.

What I didn't enjoy as much:
Some parts were just improbable (to me - could that really happen?)
It was a bit confusing - hard to discern who was telling the truth, who was lying- even in the end, I didn't feel like there was definite closure.

The book is intense! It reminded me of Die Hard or Rambo (you can tell here I haven't watched many recent movies in that category). It was one man against many, doing some pretty remarkable, at times unbelievable, things to keep himself alive. There is also some memory alteration involved, due to some governmental experimentation for a top secret government project.  Peter Ryan has no idea who he really is, which of his memories are true and which are false. On a Christian note, Peter has a sense of God, but not really a relationship with God. He begins to develop one as the story moves forward. His daughter however has a very steadfast faith (a child-like faith) and seems to be the one who encourages both mother and father. 

The ending was somewhat predictable, yet with a bit of a twist. Still, I felt like I was missing something. It is hard to explain exactly what I mean without giving away spoilers. If you like action, don't mind violence, I think you will enjoy this book. I appreciate that it was clean and did not contain language as a story this much action most likely would have.

There is a sequel coming out this year in June. I think I would like to read it to see if it clears things up a bit and offers closure. This is my first experience with Mike Dellosso's books.

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