Genre: thriller. Stars from Goodreads: 3.89. Stars from me: 4.5
I saw a unicorn! A literary one. I mean I’ve just found something as beautiful and presumably nonexistent. I’ve found a good thriller!
It’s Force of Nature by Jane Harper. It’s the second book in the series but you don’t need the first book to understand the second one.
The book is promising from the very beginning. The writing doesn’t make you cringe. It’s not clumsy or artificial. It sounds original and natural.
The action takes place in Australian wilderness, which is a factor in my subjective perception of the book. I know similar places, I love them, and from time to time I swoosh through such places myself. That’s why I giggled at some reviewers’ disbelief that a group of unprepared hikers was so easily sent to the wild. I don’t know about Australia but trust me there are places in the world where nobody would care if you are prepared or not, or if you ever returned from your hike at all.
I gave in to the suspense of the story immediately so I promptly enlisted all possible villains and plot lines. When the book kept going but I was still no closer to cracking the plot I knew I had finally found it. I have discovered a thriller that actually thrills! I then eased myself into blissful not-guessing and just enjoyed the book.
The characters are full and multidimensional. They open up through the story so you get to know them gradually. It feels like meeting new people. Nothing about the characters feels forced or made up for the sole purpose of the plot, and yet all the details play a role at some part of the story.
I found a few dialogues overstretched, especially when they happened at crucial moments and delayed important revelations. I also don’t like it when an author frustrates readers by halting such revelations but doesn’t provide anything as exciting in exchange. I understand that this trick is demanded by the genre but I will keep believing in unicorns and hoping for even better ways to keep the reader engrossed in the story.
I’m very thankful to Jane Harper, the author of the book, and I’m also thankful to Umut who reacted to my desperate Tweet about the lack of good thrillers I’d been experiencing and suggested Force of Nature to me.
The book gets 4.5 stars from me and I’d happily suggest it to anybody who’s looking for a good thriller.