Colleen Coble in her new book Black Sands Book Two in the Aloha Reef series published by Thomas Nelson takes us into the life of Annie Tagama.
From the back cover: As a long-dormant volcano rumbles in the distance, a family crisis brings an unlikely couple into an unexpected partnership.
A brainyand perpetually singlevolcanologist, Annie Tagama works alongside her father at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. But despite her pedigree, Annie has lost her passion for volcanology. Shes quietly grieving the mysterious loss of her brother in the Middle East.
When Annie discovers that her brother might still be aliveand in troubleshe shakes off her malaise and joins forces with Mano Oana, the unnervingly handsome family friend she had always blamed for her brothers death.
As Annie and Mano investigateand find that they have a lot more in common than tragedyan evil force gathers strength on the main island. An ancient cult has reemergedand Annies little sister is somehow involved. As the old religion bubbles to the surface like lava, the old practices are not far behind . . . including human sacrifice.
Can Annie and Mano find her brother and save her family from destruction? Or will the ancient evil smother them all in an earth-shattering eruption?
A missing brother that may not be missing anymore but still needs to be found, a sister that has gone missing, a cult trying to take over and a volcano that just may erupt are all ingredients that Ms. Coble has baked into this clever thriller. Ms. Coble always delivers top-notch exciting stories and this one is no exception. Annie and Mano are well drawn characters that I liked a lot. There are many story-lines that Ms. Coble weaves together in this book and each one, by itself, is interesting taken all together and they will keep you hoping. And on top of everything there is a romance. This is a fast-paced read that will keep you guessing as to what is really going on. I am so looking forward to the next book in this series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
This is another FANTASTIC book by Colleen Coble! I am seriously never disappointed in her works. The characters are relatable and very well developed. Annie Tagama is used to fading into the background. Since her mother's death, she has been the force that desperately tries to hold her family together and is under-appreciated for it. Mano Oana is the brother of Kaia, who was featured in book one of the series. He is protective, loving, and full of guilt that has haunted him since his best friend's death. He is also hiding a secret that he thinks makes him look weak. Can the two overcome their obstacles to accept what God has given them?
The plot grabs you from the prologue. The mystery starts from page one and keeps you guessing (well, it kept ME guessing) until the very end. The twists and turns the author throws in keep you captivated and furiously turning pages! The developing romance between Mano and Annie is sweet and unassuming, as both characters are. I wouldn't want it to be overwhelming or fast. I love Colleen Coble's writing style, period.
The message in this one is about putting God first in your life. For Annie, that is a really hard thing to do. She wants to feel loved and accepted, especially by the family she's given almost her entire life trying to please them. Finding out what you are putting ahead of God is tough. Putting your life priorities in the proper order is even tougher. This brought to mind the acronym of JOY - Jesus Others Yourself. God wants you to put Him first in everything you do, every day. In not doing so, you are missing out on a lot of blessings!
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the rest of the series soon!