Friday, June 28, 2013

Review: A Human Element by Donna Galanti

A Human Element
by Donna Galanti
Publisher: Echelon Press
Published: March 10, 2012
Genre: Adult Science Fiction/ Paranormal
Source: Author in exchange for unbiased review
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One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next. Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite–her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a mad man, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together. But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his and she has two choices–redeem him or kill him.
I was drawn to the synopsis of A Human Element by Donna Galanti and it's promise of a girl with healing powers and a serial killer who haunts her dreams.  Galanti delivered a dark, gritty tale with a science-fiction twist that was both fascinating and disturbing. Three word review: dark, suspenseful and hopeful.

The tale begins with a tragic event caused by a meteorite. We then follow the lives of two strangers; Laura Armstrong an adopted woman with the power to heal who is surrounded in tragedy and Ben Fieldstone an orphaned man who strayed and then pulls himself back together. Both are plagued by dreams/nightmares and seek closure and understanding from events in their past. He returns to the summer town where he and his parents vacationed and Lauren returns to her hometown after another tragic event has her reeling. The tale that unfolds was dark, violent, tender and suspenseful as together they must face a mad killer.

Laura is such a unique and refreshing character. She is naïve at times and eternally optimistic despite the cards fate has dealt her. She knows she is different and guards her secret. Plagued by tragedy she still manages to see the beauty in a sunrise. Ben is plagued by guilt, and tormented by events from his past. He was lost, and now lives as a nomad. With the exception of one close friend he keeps the world at a distance. They both have dreamed about the other and when they meet there is an instant connection. This had a little insta-love feel but the set up allowed me to accept it. A stranger has appeared throughout both of their lives and he fascinated me. I liked how the author kept his intentions shadowed. The killer's thoughts are shared with us.  His upbringing has made him dark, sinister and blood thirsty. He has unimaginable power and feels such pain. Mr. B an old hermit living on the mountainside was a lovable figure and I enjoyed his interactions with Laura and eventually Ben. Other characters help guide the duo and steer the tale.

Galanti’s tale is a unique one and was well paced. It is very dark and violent at times, even uncomfortable for the reader as she gives us a detailed account of the violence as it unfolds. Some of the subject matter is taboo and added to the suspenseful and sinister feel of the tales darker moments. I squirmed as I read some scenes and was both disturbed and disgusted by the evil perpetrated. Galanti also gives us light, love and hope within the pages that helped offset the dark and allowed me to catch my breath. There is a violent climactic scene and then the author makes us privy to hope, rebirth and a unique chance. I really liked the ending and loved how she took this book from such horrible darkness to brilliant light.

Fans of dark science-fiction, suspense and romance will enjoy A Human Element and it's unique paranormal tale. While at times disturbing the author held my attention and gave me one heck of a ride.

Three and half cups of espresso out of five 
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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38 Comments:

At July 17, 2013 at 9:04 PM , Anonymous Donna Galanti said...

Awww, thanks Kim! Again, really appreciate the read and thoughtful review.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:05 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

This was different and dark. The mystery was fascinating. Hope you get a chance to read it!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:05 PM , Anonymous emaginette said...

One heck of a ride is huge recommendation to me. Love the cover, creepy and beautiful.

Anna from
Shout with Emaginette

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:05 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh me too I like getting in their heads

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:05 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I love a little darkness every once in a while and the mystery of it all was good

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:09 PM , Anonymous Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard said...

Not sure I would enjoy the darkness of this one but it sounds good. Well-written review, Kimba -- you're good at intriguing me even when I think the book isn't for me.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:09 PM , Anonymous Lindy Gomez said...

Excellent Review Kimba! The main characters sound very authentic, and complex! I think it's interesting to get in to the mind of the killer! This books sounds good! I'm glad that you enjoyed it :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:10 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

While it had some dark moments that made me shiver, I loved the suspense and learning about the characters before they came together. Thanks Sharon!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:10 PM , Anonymous Sharon - Obsession with Books said...

This one sounds intense and the evil really creepy I'm not sure it would be for me but I am curious.

A great review Kimba!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:10 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Trish!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:10 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Dani, I loved figuring out what was going on and seeing what happened.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:10 PM , Anonymous Trish Hannon said...

The dark sci-fi element is putting me off! Lovely review though Kimba, just not my cup of tea!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

you are so welcome Judy :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous Judy-ree said...

Oh, that sounds interesting. Thanks for the goodreads link so I can add it to my Someday pile. :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

TGIF Debbie, glad you liked the review :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous Debbie Haupt said...

Hi Kim, Happy Friday (happy dance going on)
Great review thanks
deb

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

*waves* have a great weekend Blodeuedd!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous Donna Galanti said...

Good to know! :) There is plenty of steam and love and hope in this book too, folks :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous Blodeuedd said...

Yeah...nah

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Kids ruined me for horror movies but not books...LOL

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh I am them same way..no blood, gore, monster psycho movies for me... but I love to read them!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I love dark and gritty, and crime and gore..but not movies only books and not a steady diet either!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

this is a soft sci-fi with heavy elements of suspense/thriller and a twist of paranormal!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

yes...I hear ya!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

good to know Donna and thank you:)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

hehehe...me too even if I squirm!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

her powers were done well Brandi!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Ha...next week is cray-cray on the blog Nick..I have urban fantasy, historical fiction, woman's fiction , chick-lit, paranormal and new adult contemporaries .so you never know what you will find! I like both Laura and Ben very much!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous Heidi said...

I am with Melissa, I am a wimp these days, even though I didn't use to be, having kids made me soft. I can only handle too much dark and if you squirmed I don't know if I could do this one. Thanks for the honest review!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous Melissa (Books and Things) said...

What is funny is that I'm such a wimp when it comes to these kind of things in movies and whatnot. However, in books I "think" I can handle it. At least I have so far. LOL I do think this is one I'd like to try. It sounds very good!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous Andrea @The Bookish Babe said...

It's a little hard for me to read dark books, and I'm glad you enjoyed this one despite that. Thanks for the very informative review!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous Donna Galanti said...

Nova, thanks for your interest! I really downplay the sci-fi element as it's more of a paranormal/thriller/suspense book with "soft sci-fi" as I call it. I'm not a hard sci-fi fan myself - unless it's Star Trek, The Next Generation. :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM , Anonymous NovaReylin said...

This sounds interesting! I'm normally not into the sci fi element but I could make an exception! I really like this cover too!!!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:12 PM , Anonymous Nick said...

Aww, I'm kind of sad that I'm not seeing an adult contemporary romance review today! But that's okay! I'm reading Crave by Monica Murphy atm and I was thinking how you would enjoy that one.
Anyways, this sounds like a really dark book. I love that some scenes made you squirm because of the evil. I guess this shouldn't be a book I read by myself at night.
Laura and Ben both sound like they have so much going on for them. I'm glad at the end things don't end in darkness!
Fabulous review, Kim!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:12 PM , Anonymous brandileigh2003 said...

I like the premise too, the healing powers can be interesting if done right!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:12 PM , Anonymous Jenea Whittington said...

Sounds like a pretty intense and dark story, I like those kinds of reads. Great review.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:12 PM , Anonymous Donna Galanti said...

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing A HUMAN ELEMENT! I so enjoyed your in depth review. I am passing off the sequel to my publisher this month! Readers can also get more taste of characters in both books with my short story collection, THE DARK INSIDE, on Kindle only.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:12 PM , Anonymous kindlemom1 said...

Oh this sounds like a good one too! Gosh you have all these great reads lately that I want to try! So many books and only 24 hours in the day!

 

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