Original Books

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Monday, August 31, 2009

Vanished by Kathryn Mackel

Two teenagers plant a backpack in a city park thinking they are part of a drug pickup. But little do they know that inside the backpack is a rigged explosive designed to destroy experimental train tunnels below.
When the bomb explodes, three people who were working on the trains get trapped and spend the whole book trying to get out.
Also, one of the teenagers dies in the bomb explosion, while the other escapes with his life. He seeks help from a high school friend on what he should do.
But the most mysterious thing that comes to pass when the bomb explodes is a strange mist it emits. The mist is slowly covering the town, cutting it off from the rest of the country. Anyone who enters the mist is virtually eaten by it.
Several police officers and relief workers work to restore order to the pandemonium, but it's hard, especially since the mist has turned off all the power. No one know what to think about it because they don't even know if they are on planet earth anymore.
There are several problems with this otherwise creative idea. First, there are way too many characters. I only outlined the key characters above because there are too many to talk about them all. It gets really confusing. Most are believable and imperfect, but I think Kathryn should have cut several.
Also the creatures living in the pipes is a bit much, especially since there's no explanation.
The second problem is the fact that this book is continued. Nothing is resolved in the end just because Kathryn wanted to write another book. Most of the book is filled up with wasted time. I think she could have condensed it all into one novel.
The funny part is, as far as I know, she has no other plans to write a sequel, and for a good reason. Unfortunately, the publisher dropped her completely, therefore forcing her to take a steady job and put writing on hold. It's a shame because I really want to know what happens.
It's hard to rate this kind of book, but I have to anyway.
3 stars

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