High Child – J.T. Bishop [Review]

High Child by J.T. Bishop book details

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Blurb for High Child

Gifted with unique abilities, Royce Fletcher struggles to find his place in the world. Living a solitary life in the woods, he finds his quiet existence disrupted by unexpected visitors. Visitors he would prefer to avoid.

Despite his attempts to protect himself, Royce finds himself caught up in an unexpected romance, a local murder investigation, and a destiny he has little interest in pursuing.

The more he tries to pull away, the more drawn in he becomes, until he must face the demons that refuse to go away. Demons that risk more than just his life, but all that he holds dear.

High Child is the fifth book in J. T. Bishop’s award winning Red-Line saga. Following the events in Curse Breaker, High Child is a fast-paced, page-turning, suspense story that will keep readers guessing until the end. If you like a fun read with compelling characters and unexpected twists, then pick up High Child today!

 

 Jen’s Review of HIGH CHILD

I read High Child because it sounded interesting. Special abilities and a murder mystery…right up my alley. I was surprised to find out that the “visitors” mentioned in the book’s blurb were from another planet. Science fiction is a broad category, and I expected something different. However, I enjoyed reading High Child. I may not have chosen to read it had I known what it was about, which would have been my loss because this is an excellent story.

I want to thank BreakThrough Promotions and J.T. Bishop for the opportunity to read this riveting book. Although I received a free paperback copy for review purposes, my opinions are my own.

The Story

Royce loves his mother and sisters, his friend Gus, the remoteness of his cabin, and the wilderness. He’s a nice guy who mostly wants to be left alone. He doesn’t want to get dragged into a murder investigation or politics on another planet. But it happens to him anyway. He also gets involved with a woman who claims she is hiding from her abusive husband. When that doesn’t work out, he jumps into the bed of another woman.

Meanwhile, his half-brother, Jasper, is attacked in the same manner as the first person who had been murdered. Also, the son of the sheriff turns to him for help when the dead woman’s shoe shows up in the trunk of his car.

All of the strings of the story weave together to create a taut, captivating tale. The pacing is excellent. I was glued to the pages from start to finish.

The Characters

Royce is a likable character. He’s sweet and gentle. But he can be strong too. Sometimes, though, I felt like he was a little desperate and conflicted. He jumped too easily from one woman’s arms to another’s. I wondered why someone who claimed to love solitude so much would be so needy for companionship. It didn’t mesh.

Royce’s character traits made me root for him. I wanted to see him happy and safe. Also, his love for his family made him a character I could relate to.

RJ is the son of the sheriff, Rick. He’s a troubled teenager, technically an adult. He gets along well with Royce. So, when he gets in trouble, he turns to Royce for help rather than his father.

For me, RJ’s character fell flat. He didn’t have any qualities that redeemed him in my mind. He was immature and spoiled. I wanted to see him do something other than complain. Also, I never fully understood why his father treated him like he was a minor, or why RJ put up with it. Why didn’t he just move out? I didn’t get it. For RJ to have been redeemed in my mind, he should have had a bigger role in the story that gave him a chance to be a man.

Jasper is Royce’s half-brother. He seemed okay. I would like to read more about Jasper in the future.

Sarna is Jasper’s childhood friend. Royce falls in love with her. I didn’t quite get this either, because they didn’t seem to have anything in common besides a love for the outdoors and sexual attraction.

Gus is another character I would like to read more about. He’s a Native American with some interesting abilities of his own. He served well in the story as a mentor, guiding Royce on the right path.

Alice is the woman who claimed her husband had abused her. After Royce is attacked by a bear, Alice nurses him back to health. Then, Royce and Alice have a lot of sex in a short period. They finally part ways. Or so he thinks. I don’t want to say much more about Alice, because there’s a good twist that involves her.

There are other characters worth mentioning like Sarah and her husband, Royce’s mother, and more. I don’t have much to say about any of them, except there was one part where Sarah and Sarna’s names got mixed up. It might have been better to give them different names that weren’t so similar.

For the most part, I liked the characters and felt they were sufficiently developed. The main holes came from me not having read any of the preceding books in the series. For example, I didn’t know how Royce and Rick knew one another. Perhaps if I had read earlier books, I wouldn’t have wondered about their relationship.

The Writing

I enjoyed J.T. Bishop’s writing style. Her descriptions were vivid yet not overly wordy.

The best thing about High Child was how the author built suspense. She knew exactly the right moment to stop a scene or chapter to leave the reader hanging and wanting more. The atmosphere created in the setting descriptions also contributed to the suspense.

My main complaint about High Child is that I felt it needed holes filled in. Not plot holes, just holes in the details. I never fully connected to some of the characters or the setting because I didn’t know everything I needed to know. As I said before, this might have been partly because I hadn’t read the previous books.

I think some things have to be repeated at least once or twice in every book, such as the place. Perhaps I missed it, but I never knew what state they were in, and that’s just one of those things I need to know.

And I needed to know what happened six months earlier. It drove me crazy when Royce would make some vague reference to it. Eventually, I learned that Royce’s uncle had tried to kill him, but that would have been nice to have known sooner.

Also, the book needed to be edited more. I think my copy may have been an uncorrected proof, so I am not holding this against the book too much. If it was, I hope the finished copy had fewer errors. The problems weren’t with grammar or spelling; they were mostly when the flow of the scene got disrupted by mixed-up details. For example, when the sheriff is talking to his deputy, he takes one stance and his deputy takes another, but in a few more paragraphs, their stances reverse. Or, as another example, a Twinkie passes hands several times in a scene between Sarna and Jasper. If you follow who has the Twinkie when, you’ll see that the Twinkie ends up in the wrong hands.

Even if I totally overlook the editing problems, I still can’t give the book five stars. I didn’t like how fast the romance progressed with Sarna. I accepted Alice because he was hurt and she was there, but Sarna just didn’t feel right to me. To go from “I can’t stand you” to “I love you” in just a few days seemed ridiculous.

Do I Recommend?

If you read the complete series, absolutely. I do not recommend treating this as a standalone. Although I wasn’t totally lost, I did get distracted by questions I didn’t have answers to.

Despite my minor complaints. I would read another book in this series. I’m interested in seeing what happens to Royce and his family.

As a whole, I really liked High Child. As I said, most of the characters are relatable and likable, the story is fast-paced, and the author did a great job of making all the subplots fit together neatly.

If you like books about space travelers, political strife on other planets, and unfulfilled destinies, I suggest reading High Child.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (B)


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About jpschaper

In addition to being a book blogger, I am a mother of three children, a retail backroom coordinator, and a wannabe writer (when I make time to do it).

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