Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Review: Burntown by Jennifer McMahon

Cover Souce:
Title: Burntown
Author: Jennifer McMahon
Versioned Reviewed: ARC, eBook
I received this book for free, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

GoodReads Synopsis:
Eva grew up watching her father, Miles, invent strange and wonderful things in the small workshop behind their house on the river that runs through their old mill town. But the most important invention of all was the one that Miles claimed came from the mind of Thomas Edison himself--a machine that allowed one to speak with loved ones long passed. Smuggled out of Edison's laboratory, the blueprints were passed down to Miles, and he's been using them to protect Eva, her mother, Lily, and her brother, Errol, ever since.
Then, one night when a storm is raging and the river is threatening to flood, the machine whirrs to life on its own. Danger, it says. You're in terrible danger. The next thing Eva knows is waking up on the side of the river and seeing her mother's grim face. Eva's father and brother are dead, their house has been washed away and an evil man is searching for them both. They need to hide.
Eva changes her name to Necco--a candy she always loved--and tries to put everything in her past behind her as she adapts to her new life off the grid. But when her boyfriend is murdered and her mother disappears, she knows that the past is starting to catch up to her.
What really happened the night of the flood? As Necco searches for the truth, her journey unites her with two women who are on desperate quests of their own. And as the trio follows the clues to solving the mystery of Necco's past, they discover that sometimes it's the smallest towns that hold the strangest secrets.
Before reading Burntown I had only read one book by Jennifer McMahon, Promise Not To Tell. I enjoyed that book and, though I was deeply intrigued by the synopsis, I was unsure of what to expect from this one. I really enjoyed how Burntown began, with a little glimpse into the beginning of the story and how everything started. It was a beginning that pulled you in and made you want to figure out what was going to happen next.

Flash forward a little further in the story and we begin learning about Eva and her family. We get to see the dynamic between the characters and little bits and pieces of their personalities as they interact with one another as well as the role that the machine plays into the story. I do believe that the talking machine added an interesting element to the book. It gave the story an odd sense of paranormalcy and a slight amount of creepiness, just enough to make you really wonder what it's all about.

Quickly we move to the time after "the Great Flood". This was honestly the hardest part of the book to get into for me. Right at the beginning of this period, things seemed to move a little too quickly but a little too slowly all at the same time. There wasn't much of a transition from Eva as a young innocent girl to Eva, The Fire Girl. It was a little hard for me to stay into the story during this part but things quickly picked up and the story became super interesting again and I couldn't put it down.

The characters in Burntown were so well done that I found myself curious about each and every one of them. What were their stories, their pasts, what role did they play in this new tangled web? And that was one of the beautiful things about this book. Every single character played a role and had their purpose.

I don't know how Jennifer McMahon comes up with these twisting, winding stories, but she does them so well. They're so full of mystery and oddity and I can't get enough of them. Burntown had me turning the pages quickly, one after the other, in search of the truth.  It was truly a great, riveting story.

Rating: 4 Stars

No comments:

Post a Comment