By Cynthia Bujnicki
With no memory of how she ended up on a beach with a gunshot wound, Ann is rescued by two boys who hold secrets to her past and her future.
Riveting and incredibly fast-paced, The Reader delivers a non-stop action ride that keeps the reader entertained and enthralled by the story and the characters. That is probably the best facet of this story, the pace because Harkins can do what many people cant, which is squeeze is massive amounts of history without bogging down the pace of the story or distracting the reader. Harkins approaches her storytelling the way she approaches it regarding Ann. She does not know much, and she has to learn a lot in a small amount of time, so Harkins gives the Ann the cliff notes version of history which is essential. Some authors do not do that which does not work out to well because unless it is essential, it can just make the story drag out. Here Harkins breaks up the history with tension, with a descriptive narrative of what the world is like in the present. So, with the break history lessons broken up by action and character dynamics, it makes for a great read because the story keeps up the momentum while also building up this world for the reader, a world that the reader can understand and get to know.
Some slight problems go hand in hand with the pace of the novel, but ultimately, they are minimal. It just follows the ending. The resolution was so quick; it happened in a snap and the redemption of the villain, it moves like a flick of a switch that their loyalties, it is uneasy to see a villain switch over so quickly without really understanding the motive. It was just too quick, the ending, and could have used a tad more action and character development here.
Nevertheless, it is a good novel. There is a small cast of characters that allows the reader to get to know each of these characters and how they fit with one another. There isn’t much room for character growth in this novel, but the way they all fit together and influence each other is what makes it fun and makes the reader invested in them.
Ultimately, this is just a quick read. It offers a great story that moves effortlessly with a quick pace that keeps the reader engrossed in the story and action of it all. (★★★★☆ | A)