Thunder by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Set in a futuristic society that resembles America after nuclear attacks and natural disasters, Thunder is an odd mix of fantasy and futuristic science fiction. Selah has always wished to prove herself as able and independent as her two older brothers. Excited for her eighteenth birthday, she sets out to demonstrate that she is worthy of the praise her father lavishes on her siblings. However, a series of events the day before her birthday turn her world upside down, disrupting everything she thought she knew about her past. She must learn to depend on a virtual stranger, Bodhi, and a young girl, Amaryllis, to figure out from where she came so she can determine her future.

It is very rare that I do not finish a book, but this particular novel was extremely hard to get into and after finally reaching the halfway point, I set it aside. I normally wish to give authors the benefit of the doubt, for I know that writing a book is a lot of work, and for which I applaud Bonnie S. Calhoun in completing that task. I also appreciate her attempt to create a creative plot and her imaginative effort to produce a unique story. However, this novel fell short in many, many ways. The style of writing is much too simplistic and more than once I had to make sure I did not pick up a book suited for young readers. In addition, the content is not pleasant; many times, the graphic details of certain scenes made me feel uncomfortable. This novel also attempts to convey a society that is most confusingly a mix between science fiction and some type of fantasy but it did not communicate that properly. Certain aspects of the futuristic society (such as their cars, homes, etc.) did not make any sense to me and I spent more time being frustrated at these details than enjoying the story. The strange telepathic nature of the characters is also creepy. In addition, the storyline is weak; Selah cries at every little thing and the romance between her and Bodhi is much too quick paced and borderline obnoxious. I did not find a character with which I connected at all and their interactions are more annoying than enjoyable. The dependence of Amaryllis on Selah is ridiculous after the child has survived three years alone in the wilderness (another illogical scenario). There is also no Christian aspect to this book; I would classify any of the “spiritual” aspects as being more in line with a New Age Religion. If I had to compare this novel to a food I would choose plain, white rice – there is no richness to the story or any character development that pulls the reader in and captures the reader’s attention. I do not recommend this book at all.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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