I pick up a lot of free books. I'm always looking for places to advertise my own books and because of this, I'm subscribed to a ton of bargain book newsletters. Often times, by the time I actually get around to reading them, I've completely forgotten what they are about. This is what happened with The Place of Voices by Lauren Lynch.
I started reading and there is a young girl cowering in a bed as a strange creature crawls through the window. The book described gray fur and claws and I thought, "Oh great, why did I download a werewolf book?"
Then it turned out to be a koala. . .
Yeah, koala. Completely random (well, there was a reason later for the koala, but at the time it felt very random) koala. I was hooked.
I'm a slow reader, so this book still took me a couple weeks to get through, but it had me reading while brushing my teeth and doing laundry (all of which are possible, but they definitely slow things down). The plot isn't a typical arc, but the writing is poetic, and the author did a good job putting me in the characters' shoes.
Oh, and it's a Christian allegory. I didn't realize this either until about the midway mark. There were a few, "that sentiment is pretty Biblical" moments, but it was very subtle. The book is not preachy, but like most allegories, there are some "plot points" which may be predictable if you've read anything of this nature before.
So here's the blurb. I'll probably be checking out book two soonish.
Anna is devastated by a fire that left her orphaned, dependent on an uncle she never knew existed and far from the only home she has ever known. Brendan struggles with a life limited by crippling illness and a family torn by the loss of his mother. Tzutz Nik faces an arranged marriage to the prince of a ruthless dynasty in order to unite their fractured kingdoms. A mysterious invitation gives them each an opportunity to escape their struggles for a while and view their lives from a new perspective. Deep in a remote jungle, amid long-forgotten ancient ruins, they discover the true meaning of sacrifice. In the shadows, a relentless evil presence lurks, threatening to lead them astray. Will they triumph over their adversary or be trapped in his web of lies?