Vanish terrified me! UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING! I definitely see why your novel won a Christy. I can't recall a story that chilled me from almost beginning to end. There were scenes that had me holding my breath, wanting to cover my mouth, or have to stop reading, take a breath and go tell my wife what I just read. I can say that if you startle easily, this may not be your cup of tea, but don't take my word for it. It was terrifying without being bloody and gory. Tom was able to tap into the true essence of fear and create a story that will make you want to keep your bedroom light on at night! There's a twist you will never see coming!! EXCELLENT CHRISTIAN FICTION!
Vanish is a book that over all I enjoyed reading very much. I thought the plot of the book was new and fresh, something I hadn't come across before. It was creepy but not gory, which I like. Sometimes an author can cross that fine line, but this was not the case.
In the beginning of the book, Connor came across as two dimensional, but as the book progress his character developed and I began to connect him. I also felt the characters interacted with each other very well and the plot pulled me along though the book and made me want to see what was on the next page.
The only thing that kept this from being 5 stars was the ending to the book. It was to vague for me. I had to re-read it twice to even get an idea of what the author was trying to communicate.
After first noting the excellent book design (eerie-contemporary within and without) the next thing that struck me was the limp prose. After barely making it to the storm scene, I was struggling through pages intended to develop character but didnt stilted dialogue, and a resulting lack of interest in the story. However, after Conners discovery of an empty world and the introduction of the strange grey figures with spider-like fingers, the pace picked up significantly.While Pawliks opening chapters were weak, its the suspenseful pacing that found me finishing the novel inside of 24 hours. He had my train of thought dashing down all of the expected rabbit trails given the scenario laid out. In truth, I was surprised by the unfolded revelation as the book reached its climax.The Christian message found in Vanish is likewise largely hidden in the first portions of the novel. While initially only present in the conflict between Conner and his Christian wife and daughter, the unmistakable themes of forgiveness and redemption are clearly revealed by books end.Pawliks premise is undeniably unique, despite what could be misunderstood as plot devices held in common with other Where did everyone go? titles such as Offworld or Left Behind. If you can endure the first five chapters or so (they are admittedly brief) while youre waiting for the action to kick in, Vanish will provide an entertaining, fast-paced read filled with suspense, mystery, and even a few goose bump raising, heart-pounding moments.
will make you think!, July 9, 2009 I loved this book! It was easy to devour, and I was totally blown away by the ending -- Not what I was expecting at all! Vanish by Tom Pawlik is the first book in the series. I think Tom takes a very creative and liberal approach in this book, but I take it for what it is; a work of fiction that entices our minds to look beyond the here and now. I love how Christianity is sprinkled throughout this book, but is not heavy, so a wide range of audiences can relate and enjoy this book. The chapters are nice and short, so if I was interrupted (and with 4 little people underfoot that happens every so often), you could put it down and feel like you left at a good spot instead of frantically reading to get to the end of the chapter. By the last quarter of the book I am in shock and awed by the what's happening - I wasn't expecting it and it became clearer (hindsight is always 20/20 right? lol) I savored how Tom pulls the book together in the end, and you realize what is really going on (how's that for summing it up w/o giving it away? lol). I found the dark verses light theme in here really appealing. It is a basic theme that I think everyone can relate to and understand. I think it would be a good cross-over to mainstream book and encourages us enough to really think about things, and what is important in our lives. I'll be looking for the second book Valley of the Shadow for sure!