All Abra wants is love. She was abandoned by her mother at birth, left under a bridge to die. Her adoptive mother died of a weak heart and her adoptive father gave her up to another family. She seems to live in the shadow of her sister, the biological daughter More »
The Hero’s Lot picks up right where A Cast of Stones left off: with Church leadership in turmoil, a powerful duke making a grab for power, a dying king, and the slow invasion of supernatural forces. Even though the events of book one have left Errol a hero (and an More »
A lot of people live the Christian life like once they become a Christian, they’re just supposed to wait around until they die, then they get the joys of heaven. Others want to live the victorious Christian life, but it feels like the humdrumness of normal life keeps getting in More »
Claire Diaz-Ortiz embarks on a dream trip around the world with her best friend. One of the last stops on her trip was Kenya; she planned to climb Mount Kenya and then head back to the States. What she didn’t expect to find was Sammy Ikua Gachagua. Sammy lived in More »
It’s the late eighteen hundreds and the Wild West is becoming a little tamer. Post-slavery, the nation turned toward rebuilding and expanding. And expanding meant often meant driving the Indians from their homeland. It was a time of cowboys and outlaws, prejudice and racial pride, injustice and death. The plains More »
Joel Rosenberg is best known for his seemingly prophetic political thrillers. Last decade, it seemed as if the man couldn’t write something in his books without a version of it coming true in reality. This decade saw a shift in Rosenberg’s writing. For the past three years, he worked on More »
Quite frankly, Bob Goff is a pretty weird guy. Weird in a good way, I guess. Weird in that he’s absolutely committed to loving with the same kind of love that Jesus loves with. Weird in that he’s absolutely heels-over-head excited about the Christianity he’s living. And in Love Does, More »
After an unfortunate incident that almost cost Tom Norcross his therapist license, he moves his family away from the city out to the country life of Mattingly. Soon after their arrival, his daughter Leah begins to have conversations with a supposed imaginary friend she calls The Rainbow Man. After receiving More »
Earlier today, Josh Olds sat down with NYT bestselling novelist Ted Dekker to talk about his recent novel Water Walker and perhaps get him to divulge some details about his upcoming novel A.D. 30. Most authors like to talk about their characters or certain scenes, but for Ted the story is all about More »
Gravestone – Travis Thrasher
Shattered. There’s no other way to describe Chris Buckley’s life. Absolutely shattered by the events that ended Solitary, Chris now has to return to school like everything is a-ok when in reality nothing has ever been more wrong. Last year, when Travis Thrasher released Solitary, the first book in The Solitary Tales, I was absolutely blown away by everything about the book. Theme. Plot. Beginning. Middle. End. Writing style. In fact, I picked it as my favorite book of 2010.
Needless to say, I was highly anticipating Gravestone. I had no idea where Thrasher was taking the story, I just hoped it would be an exciting and fascinating journey. Second installments of series can be difficult. First installments introduce the world—characters, initial plot, overarching theme, and many other things that make for a good stories. They’re like the initial downhill plunge of a roller coaster. Maybe kind of slow at first as the world is built, but then you whoosh down that initial hill. The momentum for the series is set. Second installments can either coast along and take things easy or take the reader on a series of dips, dives, and loops that make for an exhilarating ride. Gravestone is definitely the latter.
The book begins with Chris trying to somehow go back to normal life and ignore the catastrophic events at the end of Solitary that are now being covered up. He’s got to do something, but what can he do? In the journey to find justice and seek out the evil in Solitary, Chris finds a few new friends, a few new enemies, and many more questions. The more Chris looks into the matter, the more he finds that the source of evil in Solitary rests on New Beginnings Church and Pastor Jeremiah Marsh.
Gravestone, is in a way the tale of Chris Buckley v. Jeremiah Marsh. The odd hints on the pastor received in Solitary blossom as the pastor unveils his true colors. But everyone but Chris—and maybe a few others—seem oblivious to it. Thrasher respectfully moves on from the shocking end of Solitary, giving it the emotional weight it deserved without bogging down the pacing of the story. Perhaps my favorite parts were the scenes of Chris speaking with Iris at Crag’s Inn, where he ends up getting a job. So much alluded to, so much left unsaid, such a great storyline.
Like Solitary, Gravestone ends on cliffhanger that’s jaw dropping. It answers as many questions as it raises, for as one layer is revealed a new layer presents itself. Where will Chris go from here? I have no idea…but I can’t wait to find out. Hopefully five years from now, The Solitary Tales will be known as the series that launched Thrasher’s writing into the bestseller’s lists. It’s certainly deserving of being there.
Now for two sets of good news. First, Life Is Story is giving away five AUTOGRAPHED copies of Gravestone. To be entered into the contest, tell a friend (or a hundred) about LifeIsStory.com (try Facebook, Twitter, shout in the streets…) and leave a comment on our Facebook commenting feature below. Winners will be drawn on Friday, June 10, from the pool of Facebook comments.
Also, due to the release of Gravestone, the previous book in the Solitary Tales – Solitary – is currently available for FREE on Kindle. Click HERE to download.
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