Twisted Miracles, The Shadowminds – Book 1
A. J. Larrieu
Cass Weatherfield’s powers come with a deadly price.
Cass knows it was her telekinetic gift that killed a college classmate five years back, even if no one else believes her. She’s lived in hiding from her fellow shadowminds ever since, plagued by guilt and suppressing her abilities with sedatives. Until the night her past walks back into her life in the form of sexy Shane Tanner, the ex-boyfriend who trained her…and the one she left without saying goodbye.
When Shane tells her that his twin sister, Mina—Cass’s childhood friend—is missing, Cass vows to help, which means returning to New Orleans to use her dangerous skills in the search. But finding Mina only leads to darker questions. As Cass and Shane race to learn who is targeting shadowminds, they find themselves drawn to each other, body and soul. Just as their powerful intimacy reignites, events take a terrifying turn, and Cass realizes that to save the people she loves, she must embrace the powers that ruined her.
The past is a funny thing. Behind the romantic illusions of better times, when we were younger, when there weren’t lines inching around the corners of our eyes, there is the reality that we choose to forgot. Sometimes, forgetting is a very good thing. We forget the hurts we dolled out like stickers at a kid’s birthday party. We forget that the good ole days were sometimes downright terrible and if life is managed properly, if we’ve taken the opportunity to grow, then the person we were is just a shadow of what we will become; a cautionary tale to our future selves of who we never want to be again.
In A. J. Larrieu’s Twisted Miracles, her protagonist, Cass, doesn’t look back on the past fondly. Her glasses aren’t rose-colored. What she remembers is shame and the consuming guilt that had her running away from the things, places and people she loved.
In Cass’s past, there is death.
And what she left behind, what she refuses to acknowledge in her present, is the central theme in the novel: that the truth will always surface and that we can never truly deny who and what we are.
Urban fantasy is a difficult genre to crack. There are so many stories, so many repeated tropes and stereotypes flooding the market, that a new series and new author will find it a challenge to stand out. But that doesn’t keep me from loving it. The “sameness” has never stopped me from picking up a book that I like, regardless of the genre. And I was so pleased reading Twisted Miracles to find that Larrieu’s urban fantasy isn’t anything like the masses. There are no worn tropes that bog down the narrative. There are no vapid characters interjected into an expected plot.
Larrieu’s writing is haunting, beautiful and richly drawn out so vividly that I could see Cass’s fingers shake when she reconnects with Shane. I could feel the way her heart must have pounded when she unraveled hidden agendas and veiled motivations.
Twisted Miracles is not a typical UF novel. There is a real sense of place, of setting that is vibrant and real and had me itching to hop in my car to uncover all those lovely hideouts where shadowminds dwell. Not that I’d do that on my own.
Larrieu’s ability to transform the reader, to pick them up and plop them right down in the center of the never-ending action is effortless and enviable. There are issues that Cass must face; sins that she must answer for (both real and invented), and because of how Larrieu writes her, the reader understands the urgency in Cass’s thoughts and the anxiety that has kept her from facing her past.
I loved that the telekinesis, the inherent abilities that these characters have do not come effortlessly; they are not easily practiced simply by being. And there is a price to pay for the magic in Twisted Miracles, but then, there is always a price to pay.
That’s what makes this novel so unique. It’s real, or at least, it seems to be. Anytime I can disappear into an imagined world and latch onto that sense of realism; feel for the character’s I’m reading, perhaps even worry how they will work themselves out of the trouble they’ve invited, then the author has me hooked.
Larrieu definitely has me hooked.
Read an excerpt of Twisted Miracles on A.J.’s site here.