After an emotionally draining case, seventeen-year-old Samantha McGregor is ready for a break from the visions that God sends her. But just when her visions stop, her police friend Ebony needs her help solving the case of a possible suicide. Praying for a return of her visions, God listens, and Sam is flooded with flashes of an unknown man jumping from a railroad bridge. Sam doesn't know what this suicide has to do with the case, and now she's worrying about every brown-haired guy she knows: her lab partner, brothers, friends, and strangers all fit the description! Sam learns to trust in God's wisdom and puts her faith in God showing her the way to the right answer in time to prevent another suicide.
If You Thought You Needed Vision, Would You Ask God For It?
Exhausted by her role in the dramatic rescue of Kayla Henderson, Samantha McGregor is ready for a vacation from her God-given visions. But when Sam gets her wish and the visions actually go on hiatus, she’s beginning to wonder if she’s lost her spiritual gift forever. To make matters worse, her police friend Ebony needs her help!
Peter Clark has been dead for several years, an open-and-shut case of suicide, but Ebony’s not convinced. Why would he do it? And why does Ebony suspect foul play? Sam has been no help in the investigation, and just when she’s lost all hope, God gives her a vision of a guy jumping from a railroad bridge. Suddenly the floodgates open and all of Sam’s visions involve suicide. Who is this guy? And what does this have to do with Peter’s death? It’s a race against the clock as Sam worries about every brown-haired guy she meets: her lab partner, Olivia’s rocker friend, Peter’s little brother–they all fit the description!
Whoever the guy in her vision is, his identity is just beyond Sam’s reach, and he’s definitely losing his grip fast…Trusting God will lead her, Sam’s determined to send a message of hope and find him before he gives up.
Melody Carlson is an award-winning author of more than 100 books for teens, women, and children. She and her husband enjoy an active lifestyle of hiking, camping, and biking in the beautiful yet mysterious Pacific Northwest, where she says, “A new story seems to lurk around every corner.”
Beyond Reach is the second book in a series by Melody Carlson, but it reads like a stand-alone novel. From the first page, the author pulls the reader into a dramatic scene. Samantha is in an airport and her vision involves terroriststhat's when the reader finds out more about Samantha's special gift. The burden seems to be too much at times, and Samantha complains to God about this. Then she stops having visions and she's worried God has taken away her gift.
There are two core components of the rest of the story. Samantha is trying to determine what happened to Peter, who died five years earlier from a gunshot wound to the head. And then there are the strange visions of suicide attempts that plague her.
Without giving the story away, I'll say that Carlson really knows how to pull readers along. Sometimes you think you know who the person in danger is, but then she twists things or puts a spin on the direction you think the story is going. I figured out who was in danger before he was revealed, but that didn't bother me because it made me even more invested in the story. Because I cared about the characters, I wanted to make sure the person was safe, and I sat at the edge of my seat as things became clearer to Samantha.
Beyond Reach is a multi-faceted novel of intrigue, suspense, and mystery, but it is also a story about the value of true friendship and unconditional love. The heroine genuinely cares about the hurting people in this story, and it clearly makes a difference in their lives. She sets aside her own fears and concerns for the benefit of others. That is what true Christian faith is all about, and Carlson does a fabulous job showing that Christ-like love can literally save someone from total destruction.
This story inspired me because the characters were very three dimensional and interesting. There was nothing sappy about this book. In fact, Beyond Reach is superior to many YA novels on the market because while the subject matter is depressing, in this story there are vivid scenes that offer hope. In addition, Samantha is such a wonderful role model for youth. I highly recommend this book! Michelle Sutton, Christian Book Previews.com
“Samantha is totally ordinary in an extraordinary way. Getting to know her is an experience in itself.”
- Sarah Anne Sumpolec, author of the Becoming Beka series
“Beyond Reach has a storyline similar to many popular TV shows today dealing with ordinary people with a ‘gift’ to see into the future. This page-turning story weaves in suicide, dating relationships, conflicts with parents, and additional issues teens face. Highly recommended!”
- Trish Goyer, author of Generation NeXt Parenting and Night Song