Thursday, December 1, 2011

Book review of “The Alias” by Mandi Tucker Slack

How do I introduce The Alias? Honestly, I believe the description on the back of the book does a wonderful job.

“Jacey Grayson is an average, young, divorced mother struggling to build a new life for her son, Blaze. But when the FBI discloses some disturbing information about her ex-husband, Jacey's life becomes anything but average. At the risk of losing her identity, her future, and her heart, Jacey and Blaze flee to Utah, hoping to hide and start over once again. But no matter how far she runs or who she pretends to be, her past is always lurking nearby, bringing old fears with it. Thrilling action and a suspenseful plot make this novel an edge-of-your-seat-read.”

I found the premise of the book to be an interesting twist to what some might claim is a commonly used plot. You know, about the abusive husband with a dark secret, the wife who wants to leave it all behind to raise her son in peace, and the conflict that ensues because of the circumstances.

While I didn’t find the premise all that original, I did find the way it was presented to be quite a refreshing change.

Slack has a wonderful talent for developing characters. The lead, Jacey Grayson, is engaging. I found myself honestly caring for what happened to her. In addition, her relationship with her son, Blaze, was spot on. As a father, I could relate to her feelings and actions when it came to the well-being of her child.

While I was interested in the story and was curious what would happen next, I found it was the people in the book that kept me reading. Jacey must deal not only with protecting her and Blaze, but also with the moral conflict of taking on an alias and therefore lying to people—wonderful people she comes to care about.

I’ve lived in both bigger cities and also in small towns, and so I could relate when Slack would compare a life to which Jacey was accustomed to that of a small Utah town. It’s another example of the details that added to the quality of The Alias.

I found the end of the book to be different than what I expected, but in a good way. Actually, I believe that was the key for my overall enjoyment of the book: while the plot moved in the general direction I expected, it was written so well that I hung on and enjoyed the ride.

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