Book Review: Shaken

18 Mar

365358When her world is shaken, will her foundation survive?

Idealistic and sheltered with a passion to change the world, Kaylan Richards leaves her comfortable life in Alabama to serve in poverty-stricken Haiti. Despite her inexperience and the opposition of a voodoo priest, Kaylan develops a love for the country and the Haitian people. But something deadly is about to strike.

It is the worst earthquake the country has ever seen, and in its aftermath bodies, buildings, and broken lives litter the streets. People she cares about are dead, and Kaylan is caught in the middle of the destruction, questioning a God who said He was good.

Navy SEAL Nick Carmichael never planned to find a girl he loved more than his country. Now she is a world away, trapped in a deadly situation nothing could have prepared her for. Can Nick’s love help Kaylan heal and show her the God who never abandoned her, or will tragedy shake even the most rooted faith?

Kariss Lynch (from the author’s website) — My name means “grace” but graceful I am not, well most of the time. I am an extroverted introvert that would rather write with people in the room so I can talk at the same time than hide in a corner.

I began my writing career in third grade with a story about a magical world for a class assignment and then chased my dream into college, graduating with a degree in English from Texas Tech University. I love writing characters the Lord hasn’t decided to make real people yet. I like to show God-sized dreams, romance, and let’s be real, a little sarcasm too. I write about world changers for readers who want to change the world. While Christian fiction is my genre, I branch outside that in my reading habits.

My Impressions:

Shaken is the debut novel from Kariss Lynch. As such, it is a little of what you’d expect from a first time author — perhaps a little stiff stylistically, the characters a little too good — but there are a lot of positives that kept this reader turning the pages. Lynch’s passion for her subject and the excellent research create a really good book. I expect really good things from Kariss Lynch in the future.

Kaylan is a new college graduate set to change the world. She goes to Haiti with her best friend, Sara Beth, determined to make an impact on the impoverished residents of the slums. Met with hostility from the local voodoo practitioner and the overwhelming obstacles of a country filled with despair and desperation, she still embraces the challenges. But then the earthquake hits, and Kaylan’s world is changed.

There are a lot of positives in Shaken. Kaylan and her love interest, Navy SEAL, Nick, are both wounded by their traumatic experiences. Their reactions to the traumas are realistic. Their romance is also very sweet. I loved Nick’s sacrificial nature. Many of the secondary characters, including Rhonda the Haiti aid worker, Kaylan’s grandfather, and Abe the Haitian interpreter, speak truth to Kaylan at a time when she needs it. Lynch shows how God works through circumstances and others to grow us into what He has planned. Lynch also does a good job of bringing the reader to the devastation of the earthquake in Haiti. Nick’s SEAL mission seemed a bit out of place, but I suspect it will be a main feature in the next book of the series.

Filled with romance, suspense and a strong faith message, Shaken is a good debut for Kariss Lynch.

Recommended.

(Thanks to Booketeria for my review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.

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  1. Book Review: Shaken | BY THE BOOK | Pulplit Magazine - March 18, 2014

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