I don’t even know where to start with this novel! To be open from the start, I loved it. No, wait, I LOVED it!!! This action-packed thriller novel runs 333 pages long with about a page and a half long acknowledgments and about the author at the end of the novel.
Taylor Adams really kept me at the edge of my seat with this amazing novel and I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a good thriller mystery novel.
I let my sister borrow this before I wrote the review and started forgetting certain details (like character names) and I did something I don’t normally do, I went online to search for clues to remind myself what I was forgetting. I read some reviews of others who read the novel and a lot of people felt the same way I did but shockingly, there were quite a few people who did not like the story for the same reason (as each other, I mean.) This is one of the reasons why I enjoy writing reviews for my audience. I realized that not everyone will like the same books I read, but I try to give you an open idea of how the author writes.
The story may not be for you in a sense, it could simply boil down to the fact that people die in this book in traumatic ways. It could also simply be mutual romance is not the main topic–AKA: Genre. What baffled me though was how many people claimed it was the style of writing of the author. Which I completely disagree with. His style was amazing, in my opinion, full of details and events to keep you on the edge of your seats. He does not disappoint me with how much action he packed into this novel but not in an overwhelming sense either. Part of you wants the story to calm down for a second because you realize you’re holding your breath! But then as soon as it calms down you want more!! And boy does he deliver!
You have the main character college-aged Darby and her car Blue that get caught up by a winter storm in some mountains of Colorado racing to see her dying mother before she goes into surgery for Pancreatic Cancer. She doesn’t have much time to make it to the hospital but weather and life decide to throw her a curveball at the worst possible time in her life. Soon we are introduced to Eddie and Sandi, Lars (AKA: Rodent Face) and Ashley, and let’s not forget Jaybird — who becomes the most important character of the story. Since I included Blue, Darby’s car, as a character I might as well include the Nightmare Children statues too. At the end of the story, they introduce a snowplow driver and a police officer, both with pretty important roles of their own, no matter how small their part is.
A small spoiler that really isn’t important: the reason I include the Nightmare Children statues as a character is because they are referenced many times throughout the story. Darby and Blue get caught up in a storm and need to pull over at a rest stop hidden in the mountains. There is very little to no signal for electronics, not that it matters too much because Darby’s cell phone is dying. She left her college dorms in a rush and unprepared. No phone charger and a dying phone, go figure right? Sounds like a pretty bad day to me, but realistic if you’ve ever had life stack against you quickly. With her dying cellphone battery, she is told that this statue of children playing is the best place to get service, as she gets closer to the statues she realizes part of the children is missing . . . on purpose. As if chunks are taken out of the children for an art related purpose, which gives them this creepy nightmare style vibe in the middle of the night during a snowstorm in the middle of the mountains. It’s that type of detail that really adds to the scene you are painting in your head. As if being stuck in a mountainside rest stop while your mother is sick in the hospital doesn’t paint enough of a picture already.
Ladies and gentlemen, there are secrets waiting around the corners, action, and adventure, as well as mysteries to be solved! You don’t know who to trust, just when you believe you have it figured out, BOOM, another surprise comes around and knocks you off your feet. Jay keeps you laughing just enough not to go crazy throughout the story, which is a nice touch in my opinion. (I should mention that Jay is a small child but acts very much grown-up during action scenes and conversations.)
^^When I said I should mention that – – it’s because another review I read mentioned how that was unrealistic because small children don’t act the way Jay acts. Which on average is true, except the one key detail this person didn’t take into consideration or has never experienced first hand: Jay has a serious medical condition associated with her adrenaline levels. When a huge spike or a huge dip in adrenaline can cause life and/or death, a child develops differently because the adults around them treat them differently. The author doesn’t go into a long backstory of Jay’s medical history and doesn’t add too much detail about her life before this incident, thus leading me to believe that there easily could have been moments in Jay’s life that matured her beyond her years. It’s possible and very realistic. Any child who goes through major trauma at a young age usually have one to two different outcomes, they mature quickly or they go down a dark spiral for the rest of their life. (These aren’t Facts though, and I didn’t look up the science behind it to verify the truth, simply my opinion.)
I honestly didn’t think with Jay’s medical condition that she was unrealistic despite what other reviewers online pointed out. I’ve seen it first-hand where a child in Jay’s situation mentally grows up and moves on with life because they literally had to fight just to live while other kids their age just went to school, played outside with friends and lived a normal child-like life. But Jay is not like normal kids her own age, therefore, she does not act like normal kids her age, made perfect sense to me. Was I alone in that aspect, did anyone else feel the same as I did or did you as well feel that detail was a bit out of normal?
For just a moment though I need to point out the ending. For those that have read it, what did you think?! Oh my, I had to read it at least three times to make sure I was understanding it correctly. He writes it in a beautiful way that isn’t clear cut but also is easy to figure out if you are clear headed. I, however, was not clearheaded. I had gotten to the point in the novel in the middle of the night where I couldn’t stop reading and even as tired as I was, I needed to finish! I needed to figure out just what happens in the end. I was unsure how I wanted the story to end honestly, did I want a happy ending where the right people win and the good stuff happens or did I want the road less traveled option where everyone dies and the ending is tragic. Was there another way for the story to end than either good or bad? You get to this certain point where you realize this is one of the stories that either has a happy (ish) ending or a tragically sad ending. I was so tired and ready for bed that I did not even know which way I wanted the story to end but I knew I had to find out.
Full synopsis below as well a link to Taylor Adam’s webpage. I got this novel through the Book of The Month Club and I am proud of my choice that month! He did not disappoint or let me down.
“On her way to Utah to see her dying mother, college student Darby Thorne gets caught in a fierce blizzard in the mountains of Colorado. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop. Inside, are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers.
Desperate to find a signal to call home, Darby goes back out into the storm … and makes a horrifying discovery. In the back of the van parked next to her car, a little girl is locked in an animal crate.
Who is the child? Why has she been taken? And how can Darby save her?
There is no cell phone reception, no telephone, and no way out. One of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. But which one?
Trapped in an increasingly dangerous situation, with a child’s life and her own on the line, Darby must find a way to break the girl out of the van and escape.
But who can she trust?
With exquisitely controlled pacing, Taylor Adams diabolically ratchets up the tension with every page. Full of terrifying twists and hairpin turns, No Exit will have you on the edge of your seat and leave you breathless.”
A link to Taylor Adam’s page to check out more of his work or him as an author, in general, is listed below. You can get his novel through the link below, or join Book of The Month Club, as well listed on multiple websites online that offer novels.
Please let me know what you think if you choose to read this or if you already have. I LOVED it, I let my sister borrow the book and she recently finished reading it, she enjoyed it as well. I’m curious about the people who did not enjoy this novel. I am most curious why they felt it was poorly written because I did not assess the book the same as they did. I thought it was well-written with a good amount of detail to assist you in painting the picture in your own mind. There was plenty of action but not too much that makes it hard to follow, very well organized.
I would say it’s a tad unrealistic but when you realize that a human is capable of kidnapping a child and risking both their lives over it, you quickly realize how unpredictable life truly is. What you envision for life being “realistic” actually doesn’t exist in that situation. Sure, you feel pretty confident that aliens aren’t going to drop from the sky and start shooting laser guns at you-type of realistic but to say what is or what is not realistic in the event of a sociopath kidnapper should not be a thought in your mind. Because they are willing to do whatever it takes to get their job down and prove their point. Also, it’s supposed to be a story in which is made up where you can lose all sense of reality, it’s not supposed to be realistic versus unrealistic, therefore the story was awesome and I believe he did a fantastic job for anyone who enjoys the thriller murder mystery style writing.