ARC Review: “Secrets” by Tim Mettey

Secrets (The Hero Chronicles Book #1) by Tim Mettey

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The Midwest lies in complete ruins after a catastrophic disaster kills tens of thousands and leaves hundreds of thousands injured. Nicholas Keller emerges out of the devastation as a shining light of hope for all. But his newfound fame comes with a price that his aunt will not let him pay. They flee into the shadows in order to protect his secret. However, as Nicholas begins his sophomore year at his fifth school in five years, strange and unexpected things begin to happen.  He soon tumbles into a web of doomed love, extraordinary talents and a secret past, which threatens the lives of everyone he cares about. It’s up to Nicholas to confront the truth, even if it means his own death.

2 stars

Thank you to the Kenwood Publishing Group for this ARC! This title is already in stores.

Nothing frustrates me more then a book that doesn’t live up to its potential. When I read the blurb for this book, I expected a novel full of excitement. I actually liked how vague it was, because then I didn’t really know what to expect.

The problem is this book is not like the blurb at all. Well, except for the vague part.

The entire premise of this book is that Nicholas has to move every year to avoid…something. The blurb attempts to explain it and there are hints thrown in throughout the book, but honestly I wasn’t sure what was so important that he and his aunt had to uproot their lives every year and live in fear all the time. It never made sense to me, because it was never explained. Well, okay, it is explained, literally in the last seven chapters of the book (there are 32 chapters). Because I never got this explained to me, I never believed the premise of the book once, which snapped my suspension of disbelief almost immediately.

There is also the issue of what actually happens for a bulk of the book. Granted, I was expecting high school drama, but…that’s literally all I got. There was football and a bully and an ardent love that was way overdescribed for fifteen year olds. This was 90% of the book, honestly. We are forever hinted at these “extraordinary talents” that Nicholas is supposed to have, but they are only hints. The description of why he has them–and probably the most awesome thing in the book–doesn’t come until several chapters AFTER it is explained to us why Nicholas is always moving. By that time, the talents weren’t extraordinary anymore as much as something that just happened if he couldn’t eat his Tic Tacs.

In all honesty, I’m not sure I would have finished this book if I hadn’t promised a review for today. From the beginning, the writing was clunky and the dialogue very stiff. You all know how annoyed I get about high school drama and cliches being the forefront of a book, and this was no different.

The problem–and why I stick my review to 2 stars–is that this book has so much potential. The ideas that are here, though I can’t give them away because they’re so close to the end, are really awesome. If Nicholas’s past had been explained a heck of a lot farther towards the beginning, this rating could be whole stars different. Unfortunetly, I felt for the most part like I was being strung along for explanation that was a long time in coming and then never fully explored.

To be honest, I think that the second book in this series will be a lot better than the first. Why? Because now Mettey has gotten all his exposition out of the way. I was told at a writing conference a while back that something I wrote ended where the real story began, and that’s what I feel like happened with this book. You could probably pick up book 2 and read it without being any worse for wear. But I guess we’ll have to see.