Saturday, March 28, 2015

ARC Review: Cruel Summer (Undertow #0.5)

Cruel Summer (Undertow #0.5) by K.R. Conway

Publisher: Wicked Whale, 2015
221 pages, kindle edition
Source: Netgalley
Release Date: March 16th 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon AU | Amazon UK

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
"One damaged survivor. One flawless killer. One unforgettable summer."

Kian O’Reilly is flawless as a killer.

Well-practiced in the art of making murder look like an accident, he is selfish, wealthy, and totally arrogant as a soul-stealing immortal. But when he ends up stranded on Cape Cod with a stolen car and a dead drug dealer in the trunk, he thinks his luck couldn’t get any worse.

That is, until Ana Lane shows up.

Gifted as a mechanic and surfer, feisty Ana is not a fan of the entitled Frat Boys who show up every summer, messing with local girls. Believing Kian is one of those typical rich brats, she fixes his car and ruthlessly dismantles his cocky ego . . . which intrigues the dangerous soul thief.

Determined to spend more time with the prickly mechanic, Kian sets out to understand what makes Ana so fierce. Soon, however, he uncovers the painful truth behind the real Ana Lane, and the decision to save her, may destroy them both.

**This is a stand alone novel in the Undertow series.**

My Review:
This prequel novella to the series Undertow by K.R. Conway, readers are given an up close and personal look at the relationship of Ana Lane and Kian O’Reily in the infamous summer before the events of Undertow takes place. And I loved it. It was great to see the inside look at the relationship between two characters who were somewhat of mystery in the first novel of the Undertow series.

But in fact I could Cruel Summer to actually be a bit more enjoyable than Undertow in more ways than one. Cruel summer also has the added bonus of a more present villain. One hides in Ana’s abusive and alcoholic father, who remains a constant and chilling presence within the pages of the story. One is never quite sure when the man will turn up and just how his character will act during a particular scene.

But the other villain is a little less tangible and hides within Ana and Kian’s relationship. It is the constant threat of just how and when their relationship will come to an end. In Undertow readers are told why but the whole picture never really becomes clear until the end of Cruel Summer, and it sheds a whole new light on Kian as a character and maybe even as hero of some sort.

My Rating:

Author Bio:
What can I say – I’m one part crazy and one part professional writer. I’ve been a journalist since 1999, an editor, graphic designer, critique partner for other writers, and book reviewer. I also teach the devious art of telling lies for money to various impressionable young people (i.e. I teach fiction craft classes for teens and adults).

Because I believe the words “FREE TIME” refer to a parallel universe of which I am banned from, I find myself also on the Board of Directors for the Cape Cod Writers Center, a member of the SCBWI, and the driver of a 16-ton school bus. Apparently I tweet my random thoughts @sharkprose and yup – I am on Facebook, because even my BFF’s dog is. I can’t rank below a dog . . . seriously, I need more friends. The dog is killing me.

I am also the author of UNDERTOW, a dark, Urban Fantasy YA, which follows 17-year-old Eila Walker, last in a brutal race of humans and her unlikely allies, including a soulless boy who becomes her beloved bodyguard. The second book in the series is STORMFRONT launched the summer of 2014. UNDERTOW is also on WattPad.

I live on Cape Cod with my two children and husband, two dogs (adept at both flatulence and snoring), and a cage-defiant lovebird that sleeps in a miniature tent. This is Cape Cod – even the animals are nuts.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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