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Monday, May 17, 2010

Like The Most Brilliant Tornados, The Stormchasers Starts Slowly, But Quickly Gathers Speed ...

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

It takes a special kind of person to track violent storms. A chaser has to be endlessly curious, flexible, fearless, passionate and yes, a little crazy. Charles Hallingdahl fits the bill perfectly. He's a chaser extraordinaire - brilliant, brave and more than a little unhinged. Chuck recognizes the wild, electric sizzle of an oncoming tornado, feels the storm gathering as keenly as he does his own shifting moods. No medication, no therapy, no nothing makes him feel as alive as standing in an open field tasting the charged air, eyeing the dramatic sky, and quivering in the wake of a storm's majestic power.
The same beautiful chaos that inspires Chuck's frenzied obsession strikes fear into the heart of his twin sister. Shrieking tornado sirens always open the floodgates to memories Karena Jorge wants desperately to forget. Specters from that dark, crazy night will haunt her forever. Even so, all it takes is a call from a mental hospital to get her rushing into the heart of Tornado Alley. Karena hasn't seen her brother in 20 years, but she knows all too well what he's like when he's off his meds. She has to find him before he endangers himself or someone else. Without a cell phone number or home address, there's only one way Karena can find Charles - she has to follow the storms. If there's a tornado brewing on any horizon, he'll be there.
Using her position as an investigative reporter for the Minneapolis Ledger, Karena joins a professional stormchasing team for a two-week tour. As she gathers details for her "story," Karena finds herself growing more and more fascinated with storms, her fellow chasers and their intrepid guides. Well, one in particular. Kind, funny Kevin Wiebke seems as smitten with Karena as she is with him. There's only one problem - he insists on complete honesty before he'll even consider letting a relationship go beyond the flirting stage. As much as Karena wants to spill her guts, she can't risk losing the only man who's managed to warm her frozen heart in a very, very long time. Maybe he'll understand her real reason for stormchasing, but if he ever discovers what she and Charles did on that crazy night 20 years ago, he'll never forgive her. Torn between protecting her brother and trusting a friend who's quickly becoming a whole lot more, Karena has to choose what to reveal and what to keep secret.
All the while, storms are stirring. The closer she gets to their cores, the closer Karena comes to finding her brother. How far will she go to protect her twin? Can she keep shielding him the way she always has or has he finally gone too far? And what will happen when the secrets of the past creep into the present?
Although vastly different in tone and style, Jenna Blum's second novel asks the same questions as her first. Both Those Who Save Us and The Stormchasers inquire: How far would you go to protect the person you love the most? How much of your own happiness would you sacrifice to salvage another's? Through sympathetic characters, affecting description and an apt understanding of the human psyche, Blum examines the very complicated answers to these most important of questions.
The Stormchasers starts slowly, but just like an oncoming tornado, it quickly takes shape - gathering speed, building mystery, and spewing danger - until it finally releases its fury in a beautiful, terrifying, heart-pounding conclusion. Like the most brilliant of storms, this one is not to be missed.
The Stormchasers will be available on May 27, 2010. It can be pre-ordered now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and other booksellers.
Grade: B+
If this were a movie, it would be rated: R for language and sexual content
To the FTC, with love: I received The Stormchasers from the generous folks at Dutton. Thanks!

6 comments:

  1. Susan - I have an award for you over at my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ooh ... this sounds like a good one! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. This sounds great- I'll have to pick it up

    ReplyDelete
  4. I live in Tornado Alley (tornado sirens just went off last week -- and my neighborhood hit 2 yrs ago), I'm always skeptical of books like this...especially if she is from Minnesota?? Hmmm...

    ReplyDelete
  5. This sounds so interesting.
    Kelly Bookend Diaries
    http://bookenddiaries.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Kristin - Thanks so much! You're so sweet.

    Stephanie, Jenna & Kelly - It really is a good book. I think you will enjoy it.

    GDM - Being from the Pacific Northwest and living in the Southwest, I know nothing at all about tornados (or is it tornadoes?). However, the book seemed very well researched. You can read all about the research she did on her website.

    ReplyDelete

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