When a Stranger Comes
Satisfying one’s greed can come at a devilishly high cost.
Achieving what you crave can also bring the terrifying fear of losing it. For Alexa Wainwright, this truth has become her nightmare. Born Gladys Lipschitz, the daughter of an unwed Soviet-era Jewish immigrant, she was beyond thrilled and amazed when her debut novel, A Foregone Conclusion, soared to number one on the bestseller’s list and became an international sensation. The accompanying fame and riches were beyond her expectations. Unfortunately, her subsequent work has yet to achieve the same reception by critics and readers. Yes, they have sold well based on her name recognition, but she dreads the possibility of becoming a mid-list author forgotten and ignored. She vows to do whatever it takes to attain the heady ego-stroking success of her debut. But is she really?
Witnessing an out-of-the-blue lightning bolt whose giant tendrils spread over the blue sky and city streets below her loft window, Alexa doesn’t realize just how this vow will be tested as she’s magically transported to an alternate reality. In this universe, the characters from her books are given the breath of life and she meets publisher, King Blakemore, who just might be the Devil himself. At first, she shrugs off her doubts about this peculiar publisher and very lucrative book deal offer because the temptation of riches and refound fame is too strong. But all too soon, Alexa realizes she’s trapped in an underworld of evil from which she desperately wants to escape. For starters, she finds herself in an iron-clad book contract that changes its wording whenever she thinks of a loophole. Desperate to get her life back, she devises schemes to untether herself from this hellish existence. She’s also aided by the forces for good who attempt to help her. However, King Blakemore is cleverer and more powerful than she can begin to understand. Playfully, he decides to give Alexa a second chance to save herself from eternity with him and to be free. He offers her the prospect of a rewrite, as most authors do as part of the writing process. Given this chance, will Alexa make the same choices and the same mistakes again?
Alexa, as the MC, is relatable, likable, and vulnerable with a keen sense of humor. Her world is very small because writing is her life and so she is an easy target for entrapment. Her pact with the Devil is an allegory for the evil lurking in our midst. The social decay of modern society with its excessive greed, the ignorance of our political leaders, and our indifference toward the survival of all species from the effects of climate change, among other environmental pressures, are perhaps brought forth by the darkest forces of human nature. When a Stranger Comes… is a fast-paced psychological/magical realism/paranormal thriller in 94,255 words.
|I was excited to read this book. In fact, in the beginning I was into this story. Yet, several chapters later my excitement had disappeared. However, I kept reading hoping that I would find that magic again. Sadly, after reaching the half way point I put the book down. It seems that I was reading a different book from the majority of the other readers. |
There was nothing intriguing about the story or the characters that kept me wanting to come back for more. There were times when I had to re-read I was excited to read this book. In fact, in the beginning I was into this story. Yet, several chapters later my excitement had disappeared. However, I kept reading hoping that I would find that magic again. Sadly, after reaching the half way point I put the book down. It seems that I was reading a different book from the majority of the other readers.
There was nothing intriguing about the story or the characters that kept me wanting to come back for more. There were times when I had to re-read scenes. The alternate reality that Alexa was transported to did not lend much into the way or interest. Overall, this book just did not do it for me. As I stated however I am in the minority when it came to this book. So, you might like this book. Give it a try.