Author: Chelsea Cain
Genre: Suspense / Thriller
My Copy: Review Copy via Simon & Schuster
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Kick Lannigan, 21, is a survivor. Abducted at age six in broad daylight, the police, the public, perhaps even her family assumed the worst had occurred. And then Kathleen Lannigan was found, alive, six years later. In the early months following her freedom, as Kick struggled with PTSD, her parents put her through a litany of therapies, but nothing helped until the detective who rescued her suggested Kick learn to fight. Before she was thirteen, Kick learned marksmanship, martial arts, boxing, archery, and knife throwing. She excelled at every one, vowing she would never be victimized again. But when two children in the Portland area go missing in the same month, Kick goes into a tailspin. Then an enigmatic man Bishop approaches her with a proposition: he is convinced Kick's experiences and expertise can be used to help rescue the abductees. Little does Kick know the case will lead directly into her terrifying past…
I’ve made no secret of my love for Chelsea Cain and her Archie & Gretchen series. When I heard she was going to put Archie & Gretchen to the side to focus on a new series, I admit, I was heartbroken. No Archie and the gang for another year or two? Ack, my heart couldn’t take it! At first, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read One Kick, but hey, if I love Cain’s writing then she couldn’t disappoint. Right?
As far as characterization, it’s a bit weak but keep in mind this is a series and no doubt the main characters will be fleshed out as it continues. Kathleen “Kit” Lannigan was kidnapped as a child and her rescue made headlines. She’s an unlikely heroine in that she knows how to use a gun and isn’t afraid to use one. She’s spunky, self determined and just ready to get on with her life. Then there’s James, her brother, and he suffers from panic attacks and anxiety. The reason for his trauma is slowly revealed and I won’t go into details, but it is part of the plot. We also have Bishop, an arms dealer who uses Kit to his own advantage. He’s shrouded in mystery, but parts of his past are revealed. We have a few secondary characters who are important including Kick’s mother, who has made a career out of Kick’s kidnapping. And then there’s Frank, the FBI agent who finds Kit. He reminds me a lot of Archie, but maybe because like Archie he’s in law enforcement.
Narrative is third person and Cain interweaves parts of Kit’s past during her time in captivity with that of the present. Cain doesn’t shy away from the subject matter; touching upon child pornography, pedophilia, and child trafficking. Though she doesn’t go into graphic detail (all is left to the imagination) and even the details she supplies will make your heartbreak. I liked how Cain didn’t shy away from the relationships; from Kit’s rocky relationship with her mother to that of Mel, her kidnapper. I had some serious concerns about the way Kit responded to Mel, but Cain is just showing us a classic example of Stockholm Syndrome. It’s uneasy to read and yet, when Kit grapples with a difficult decision and when the outcome is revealed, one can’t help but want to shake some sense into her. I hope Kit’s father and sister make an appearance in some future installment because I’d love to see how those relationships compare to Kit’s past memories of her family.
What I really enjoyed about Cain’s One Kick are the feelings it evokes. I was scared, angry, heartbroken, and joyful. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions and in the end; you’ll want to take some time for yourself to think. It’s been a few days since I finished One Kick and I haven’t been able to pick up another book. I do believe the subject matter just makes it impossible to move on without thinking about your neighbors and what might be going on. Cain has made me uneasy of rest stops, but after reading One Kick, I can’t look at my neighbors the same way. Cain reminds us that if anything looks out of place or you have a suspicion that something doesn’t look right, to make a call. The worst that can happen is that nothing is found, but in the event that something is uncovered, at least you helped bring someone home (or stop the abuse).
Overall, Chelsea Cain’s One Kick is a thought provoking page-turner. Just keep in mind Cain touches heavily on a subject matter that might make you uncomfortable. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Kick in book two.
I have 1 copy of Chelsea Cain’s One Kick up for grabs. US only. Giveaway ends on Wednesday, August 27th at Midnight MDT (2 am EDT). Winner has 72 hours to contact me otherwise a new winner will be drawn. Good luck!
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