MYSTIQUE by Shari Arnold!
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MYSTIQUEAuthor: Shari Arnold
Publication Date: November 17, 2015
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Only Bauer Grant can pull off gorgeous while dead. But staying dead is another thing entirely. When he wakes up at his own funeral, the town of Mystique calls it a miracle, until it happens again. Something is bringing the residents of Mystique back to life, but what? Presley Caine finds herself caught up in the mystery when Bauer asks her to visit him. Presley can’t figure out why the most popular guy in school is so drawn to her. And when Bauer is kidnapped soon after, she looks to Bauer’s brooding best friend Sam, whose dad works for the powerful Mystique military base, for answers. In her quest to discover the truth, Presley’s relationship with Sam deepens, her feelings for Bauer are tested, and it becomes clear that her own mysterious past is somehow connected to these strange events. But is she strong enough to handle the truth when it is finally revealed?
I really enjoyed this one. I liked the mystery and the intrigue. It felt like an episode of X-Files and I love that show. I think the plot, the characters, and everything really meshed well together. I just wasn't a fan of the pacing at some points and I thought some of the supporting characters were a little over the top.
I really liked Presley. I think she had the right amount of suspended belief and questioning. I also really liked that as much as she was confused and scared, she never let that deter her from helping out those in need. She was really relateable and easily one of the best main characters in a sci-fi story I have read in a while. I also think the relationships she had with the other characters felt real and weren't too forced. I especially liked how she handled the whole Bauer relationship (although I feel like she was a little too accepting of him and Sam in her life at the beginning) because she was like "well this hot guy likes me, so I guess I'll hang out with him even though he just came back from the dead" but she wasn't (view spoiler). I liked that she was curious about the other town and everything but I did think that route ended up being a little convenient, but I didn't mind that too much.
For a standalone, I was really pleased with the plot of this one. I thought that it had a natural progression and didn't make the reader wait too long to hook you in but also took it's time explaining things and made it plausible to have happened. I did think that time progressed a little awkwardly at some points but it didn't really deter my reading enjoyment. The writing was easy to follow and easy to read which made the actual process of reading fun.
I thought some of the secondary characters were a little underdeveloped. I think a bit more time could have been spent on Maryanne and Royce because while Royce was a tad creepy, I didn't get the full creep factor from him which made his arc fall a little flat for me. I think if they had been introduced a couple chapters before, it would have given them just that bit more time to develop. I feel the same way about Alex, although I kinda had his story pinpointed from the time he was introduced.
However, I really enjoyed this one. If you want to read a good sci-fi paranormal book, this is the one for you. Presley was a great main character and I loved trying to figure out Mystique's secrets alongside her. This one comes with a recommendation from me!
Shari Arnold grew up in California and Utah but now resides in Connecticut, with her husband and two kids, where she finds it difficult to trust a beach without waves. She writes Young Adult fiction because it's her favorite. And occasionally she takes photographs.
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