Monday, August 26, 2013

Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon

Noa wakes up in a strange room wearing a hospital gown and sporting bandages. She has no idea how she ended up there, but herevery instinct screams "RUN!" And run she does. She is immediately set upon by men in scrubs and security uniforms, but she manages to outsmart them all and escape. Unfortunately, she's lost everything - id, credit cards, shoes! - and is certain that whoever these people are, they'll have her home under watch. Noa is smart, though, and she's got skills that will come in handy - she's a hard core talented hacker and part of a network called /ALLIANCE/.

Meanwhile, the network's creator has his own problems: a quick perusal of his father's computer ends with heavies beating down his door and stealing his computer. Scared and angry, Peter sets /ALLIANCE/ to the task of finding out more about the people who broke in. His pick for the job: Noa. Desperate for funds, Noa accepts but soon discovers that Peter's new foes are connected to the people who kidnapped her. The more she learns, the deeper both she and Peter are thrust into a conspiracy with grave and unsettling ramifications.

This first in Michelle Gagnon's Persefone series also marked her debut in the YA scene. As a fan of her Kelly Jones series, I had pretty high expectations for Persefone and Gagnon has gone above and beyond that! Don't Turn Around is a great blend of mystery, sci fi, medical thriller, and tons of action. The teens are smart (the adults... not so much) and Gagnon holds back just enough of the actual story behind PEMA and Project Persephone to keep the reader thoroughly intrigued.

The series actually kicked off with a little e short called "No Escape," which set the tone brilliantly for the series. In the story, we're introduced to a teen who will soon become a victim of Project Persephone. (He even gets a brief mention in Don't Turn Around.) The short also includes a preview of Don't Turn Around, in case I've not convinced you yet, and can be downloaded here for free. It's a pretty explosive beginning, so you should be prepared to track down a copy of the full book.

Gagnon's follow up, Don't Look Now, hits shelves tomorrow.

Rating: 4/5

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