Book review: Untraceable (The Nature of Grace #1) by S.R. Johannes

Untraceable by S.R. Johannes
Series: The Nature of Grace
Publisher: Coleman & Stott (November 2011)
Pages: 315


Untraceable is quite a remarkable book. Not only are all chapters named ‘Survival Skills’, starting with a survival tip (which I think is really cool), the book is also written from a first-person point of view in the present tense. Now most novels have a third-person narrative in the past tense, so that was definitely a change. It really affected my reading experience, I noticed it all the time. It makes the story a lot more personal, but I’m not sure if I like it. Maybe I’m just a bit a creature of habit.

The protagonist, Grace, is a sixteen year old girl, whose father went missing a couple of months ago. He was a ranger in the Smoky Mountains National Park and is generally believed to be drowned in the river. Grace doesn’t believe that and tries to figure out what happened to her dad. While tracking through the forests she meets Mo, a geology student from the nearby university. But is that really what he is doing there? And what happened to her father?

To be honest, the story starts quite slow, not that much is happening. I have to admit that up until halfway through the book I’ve considered multiple times just to stop reading and start a new book. Then, at the point where I really was like: ‘No way, I’m quitting this,’ the story finally started. A flow appeared to glue the sentences together and some drama and action made the story interesting again. And speaking about drama, what an end! The final pages definitely earned two out of the three stars I gave Untraceable.

However, one thing that makes me really tired is reading about those girls that fall in love head over heels with some random guy they meet. Makes me want to scream out and tell them to be more independent. And even though Grace generally is quite an independent young girl, this is exactly what she does. Come on! You can do it by yourself girls, be emancipated! That’s why I loved Elsa’s comment in Frozen:


So in the end, a decent book. Am I going to read the sequel? Probably not. And if I end up giving it a shot, I hope S.R. Johannes doesn’t let me wait for some excitement so long. I might not have the breath to hold it out until halfway again.

Final rating: ★★★☆☆

PS. What about all these authors with two initials? J.K. Rowling, L.A. Starkey, S.R. Johannes, they all sound similar.

***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.***


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