(The Nature of Grace, Book 1)
Author S.R. Johannes
16-year-old Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival. When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him. One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father. Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves.Review: The survival guide intros before each chapter are a clever set up and although Untraceable isn't humorous, it definitely has ironic and comedic relief throughout, which works well to lighten the heavy subject matter. Parts of the story are graphic in nature, but I note this as a positive for the book. At times, I wanted to turn away, but you can't do that with a novel like you can with a movie. This proves the author was doing a lot of the right things when it comes to depiction, slowing down scenes and zooming in to the point of discomfort. However, it never crossed the line and just when you think you can't 'look' the author kindly provides relief. This method creates a perfect tension that enhances the quality of the adventure. I am fairly sensitive to books that deal with animal cruelty or mistreatment, which made reading certain sections difficult for me, but this had nothing to do with the author's craft or choices. My only gripe, and this is with the overall trend I see in YA novels, is when the heroine continually frets about circumstances being all her fault. So much so, that instead of showing vulnerability and feeling, it comes across as whining. Sure, she thinks it's her fault, but mix up the phrasing instead of just coming right out and saying repeatedly, this is all my fault! After a while I felt as much sympathy towards our misfortunate heroine as I would toward a skinny chick that grumbles about looking fat. Yeah, yeah, yeah...we'll pat you on the back while you simper. In this case, so much is obviously not within Grace's control, but she seems eager to take the blame, which in my humble opinion weakens her credibility and individuality instead of showing the softer side of her character. There is a lot of death in the book and I wasn't super excited about a particular character kicking the bucket. But, I didn't write the book so....
(The Nature of Grace, Book 2)
Author S.R. Johnannes
As Grace recovers from tragedy, her science class is chosen by Agent Sweeney at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to help with research on the new "Red Wolf Reintroduction Program". While she’s excited about helping with the conservation of the endangered wolves, Grace knows this means being outdoors in the worst winter recorded, in a place she no longer feels comfortable. It also means working closely with Wyn (her ex) and his annoying girlfriend (Skyler), a girl whose idea of getting close to nature is picking silk plants and growing fake plants. After a couple of wolves show up dead, Grace almost quits. However, when a fellow project team member goes missing, Grace continues the assignment under a renewed suspicion that someone might be sabotaging the conservation program. She quietly begins to hunt for clues. Little does she know, she is being hunted too.
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S.R. Johannes is the author of award-winning and Amazon bestselling Untraceable (a teen wilderness thriller) and new tween paranormal, On The Bright Side. She has also published short novelettes as well as a teen romance anthology with 16 other authors titled, In His Eyes. Uncontrollable, the sequel to Untraceable, is scheduled for September 2012.
S.R. Johannes is a winner of the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Awards (Young Adult) and was also recently nominated for 2012 Georgia Author of the Year (Young Adult). Untraceable was also recently named a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review's Indie Book of the Year (YA). After earning an MBA and working in corporate America, S.R. Johannes traded in her expensive suits, high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her dog, British-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world.
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