Monday, June 23, 2008

Vanished 1: Intro

Kathryn Mackel’s Vanished is a suspense story that begins the "Christian Chiller" series.

Fictional Barcester, Massachusetts, is the convergence point for underground high-speed trains. The trains aren't running commercially yet, just doing tests, but the first real trip will be in the near future and will involve the President of the US.

A secret service agent arrives shortly before a (literally) explosive incident that alters life in Barcester for good. (Or maybe for bad; it's hard to tell.) We get various viewpoints for all this:

Jason Logan, local cop who has pretty much lost his daughter in a custody battle. He's also got some hangups from the distant past as a Korean orphan.

Kaya de los Santos, local medic on the verge of being run out of town for a good deed.

Ben (Kaya's son), a clueless teen with good intentions and a knack for bad decisions.

Jonathan Percy and Chloe Walter, husband-and-wife physics geeks who want to put Barcester on the map just as someone else decides to take it off entirely. They're experimenting in the train tunnels when the not-truly-identified Bad Thing happens.

Alexis Latham, local store owner, gun owner, and all-around tough broad--unfortunately the standard horror-movie type who attracts monsters for no discernible reason.

Luther, The Villain. (You have five seconds to hiss The Villain.) Actually, Luther's just a guy who goes around planting bombs, shooting people, and tossing grenades. Everyone needs a hobby, and having something to do keeps him out of trouble. Also, he is not the ultimate bad guy but just his puppet.

This being a modern novel, we get to shift from one to another like a ping-pong ball in a blender. There's a lot of action going on at the same time, of course, and several non-viewpoint characters who get to be clever and/or die.

The one character that does neither one is The Mist. After Whatever happens, a large chunk of Barcester is surrounded by an eerie mist that wells up from a hole in the ground and covers the area like an umbrella. If you try to pass through The Mist, you get a generally depressing mystical (not a typo) experience. (It extends underground, too. So there.)

Anyway--tomorrow we'll look at the good points of the story, as usual, and then the bad points the next day.

The other CSFF bloggers:
Brandon Barr
Justin Boyer
Jackie Castle
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Beth Goddard
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Christopher Hopper
Joleen Howell
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Mike Lynch
Terri Main
Shannon McNear
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Deena Peterson
Ashley Rutherford
Mirtika or Mir's Here
Chawna Schroeder
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Linda Wichman
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise

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