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Publisher's Summary

On December 31, 1981, high atop a snowy mountain peak in the rugged interior of British Columbia, Canada, 98 beautiful people eat, drink, laugh, and dance inside the opulent grand ballroom of the Sinclair Resort Hotel.

The clock strikes 12, a cheer goes up, and the music swells; balloons drop and streamers swirl.

Then blackness....

Fifteen seconds later, the power returns and every living soul inside the ballroom has vanished, never to be seen again.

Now, 40 years later, preternatural investigator Lively Deadmarsh and his psychic twin sister, Minerva, have been brought in to solve this decades-old mystery once and for all.

Should they fail, they may become part of it, forever.

©2021 Katie Berry (P)2021 Tantor

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What listeners say about Abandoned: Arrivals and Awakenings

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great, but for a few irritations

I read Katie Berry’s Claw a couple of months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it was one of the best debut novels I have ever read. I was, therefore, looking forward to ABANDONED being released on audiobook. I checked Audible regularly to see when it would become available. So imagine my delight when it was released.

I immediately downloaded the book and started listening to it. But somehow, I was not as impressed with it as I was with Claw. I wanted to rate it 3.5 stars, but when I considered my gripes with the book, I thought it would be unfair to rate it three stars, and therefore, I rounded it up to four. While the writing was still excellent, I had the following three issues with it:

1) The book was relatively short (Audible 6 hrs 23 min) whereas Claw was 14 hrs 42min. I read somewhere, though, that it is part of a four-part series. Was the story written to maximise revenue from four different books rather than two or three decent-sized novels? I don’t know, but it leaves me feeling a bit cheated. I also love “getting into” a book, which Claw allowed me to do. This book offers no possibility of that, no prolonged atmosphere being created slowly over time. Ultimately, it feels like candyfloss, pleasant but doesn’t fill my hunger. On the other hand, Claw felt like a decent man-size (may one still say that?) T-bone steak with all the trimmings.

2) Following my first gripe, the book absolutely ends on a cliffhanger. It provides virtually no answers and literally ends just as a grand reveal is about to take place. This felt juvenile. For a moment, I felt I got trapped in an 80’s tv show where I have to wait an entire week for the outcome, only to be disappointed. I sincerely hope this won’t be the case with book 2 in the series.

3) The interaction between Lively and his twin sister, Minerva, irritated me. Their conversations were unnatural and immature. While it is probably supposed to come across lighthearted, it didn’t work for me. There was simply too much playful sarcasm. E.g.

a) “that is a big bingo, little sister. It is always nice to see you come up to speed like it”; or
b) “my, you are the gregarious one, friends everywhere it seems”; or
c) “Ladies first. Thank you, but I am a liberated woman. And besides, it’s supposed to be age before beauty, big brother”. The constant reference to “little sister” and “big brother” became very annoying after a while.

Was the book awful? No, not at all! I loved the reference to It’s a Wonderful Life (1946 movie) and Vincent D’Agosta (I am a huge fan of the movie and Child and Preston’s Pendergast series). The storyline has great potential, and the setting in a snow-covered abandoned hotel is simply perfect. The rest of the writing (excluding dialogue between the twins) was superb. I loved how the story went back and forth in time, explaining certain events leading to the current reality. This book series has some excellent potential.

If Katie considered offering a bit more than basically four short stories and refine the dialogue between the twins, I would score it 5 stars. For now, I am out of here, as I need to see what Book 2 (ABANDONED: Beginnings and Betrayals) in the series has to offer. Oh, PS, Alex Knox as narrator, is brilliant.