Title: Glimpse (The Dean Curse Chronicles)
Author: Steven Whibley
Publication Date: April 8, 2013
Recommended Age: 10+
Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)
“Save them, Dean. Save them all….”
Dean Curse avoids attention the way his best friend Colin avoids common sense. Which is why he isn’t happy about being Abbotsford’s latest local hero – having saved the life of a stranger, he is now front page news. Dean’s reason for avoiding the limelight? Ever since his heroic act, he’s been having terrifying visions of people dying and they’re freaking him out so badly his psychologist father just might have him committed. Dean wants nothing more than to lay low and let life get back to normal.
But when Dean’s visions start to come true, and people really start dying, he has to race against the clock – literally – to figure out what’s happening. Is this power of premonition a curse? Or is Dean gifted with the ability to save people from horrible fates? The answer will be the difference between life and death.
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My Thoughts: Glimpse is an enthralling paranormal thriller featuring 14 year-old Dean Curse, an ironically named main character, who is thrust into a most unusual predicament after he heroically intervenes when he spots a man being beaten in an alley on his way to school. Little does he know that with one word, “Glimpse”, uttered by the victim of the beating, his life would be changed forever. Author Steven Whibley weaves a spell-binding plot deliciously revealing the mystery behind Dean’s “curse”.
Whibley has assembled a strong cast of characters in this edge-of-your seat suspense-filled story. Dean is a typical teenage boy who argues incessantly with his younger sister, goes to school, and hangs out with his friends. But after the encounter in the alley, he begins to have strange visions of people who transform before his eyes into gruesome, terrified specters. Whibley’s descriptions of Dean’s visions are so eerie, they gave me the chills. Dean’s two friends play a key role in the story: Colin, who provides the comic relief in the story with clever lines such as “Mr. Utlet can take out a gang of street thugs with a wet towel and a bowl of prunes“; and, Lisa, the calm and logical one who is the voice of reason. Aside from this trio of loyal friends, there is a complex cast of characters, each of whom are destined to cross paths with Dean.
I love the premise behind the story – that Dean can foresee the deaths of individuals. To be clear, the meaning behind Dean’s visions is slowly revealed. Whibley slowly and delectably unravels the mystery behind the curse, beginning with a description of the visions, followed by an understanding of their meaning, and finally with a deeper exploration of the origins of the curse as well as Dean’s grappling with how he will get rid of the curse or cope with it. The heart stopping moment (albeit perhaps a bit predictable for an adult reader) arrives when Dean has a vision that someone close to him will die. Understanding dawns on him as he realizes what he must do to save their life. I experienced the full range of emotions as I connected with the characters in the story. So much so that my eyes teared up at the hospital scene at the end. You’ll have to read it to see why!
One word about the age-appropriateness of the themes in the book. Some of the passages describing Dean’s visions are quite disturbing and people do die in the story. These are not described in graphic detail, but they are rather unpleasant (i.e., dying in an explosion and being shot, for example). There is also one instance of the use of the word “douchebag” which I realize fits into the language commonly used by teenage boys – but still, I have to mention it.
My Bottom Line: Steven Whibley has masterfully crafted a gripping thriller, with a touch of the paranormal, a fantastic collection of characters, and a deep, dark, and slowly-emerging mystery. This was an absolute page-turner – I was completely sucked into this fantastic story. And then, the author ends on a cliffhanger!! How great a story is this and how masterful is Steven Whibley at story-telling!? Well, confession time … I bought the next book in the series, Relic – THAT, says a lot! I recommend this series to tweens, teens, and adults who love a complex, suspenseful thriller. So good!! Ages 10+
More Buzz About the Book
“Glimpse is a gripping mystery thriller that grabbed the attention from the start to the end. While this is a recognizable scenario of a group of kids who are thick as thieves as they attempt to understand the trouble that Dean has gotten himself into, it is also a complex mystery. The addition of a typically brother intolerant sister an over protective mother and a father who clearly brings home his work add to the scene setting and give the story additional depth and meaning. The author has created an excellent adventure that plays out in unexpected and unusual ways. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Paul L., Amazon
“OMGosh! I love this story! I read the entire story in two sittings. I could not put it down and it was so well written and edited that I cruised swiftly through it. Steven Whibley has made his mark as an excellent author … What a creative, haunting story that will definitely entertain everyone, young or old, who reads it. I’m ready for the next sequel! A definite, high-five to Author Steven Whibley!” ~ 5 Star Review, Nancy of Utah., Amazon
“I loved this book! A unique premise, a great cast of characters, and twists you don’t see coming add up to a fast and furious read. I am looking forward to book 2, and whatever else he writes.” ~ 5 Star Review, Susan W., Amazon
About The Author: Steven Whibley
Steve believes in pixies and fairy dust, and the healing power of unicorns. When he’s not writing epic tales of horned beasties, he’s working as a look-a-like for Brad Pitt, Ryan Reynolds, Zac Efron, and Seal. He spends his free time training hairless mole rats to be service animals for the colorblind, and dreams of one day inventing a Thanksgiving dish that will rival the infamous turducken.
Steve also believes most readers do not read author biographies.
* Giveaway *
Prize: There will be one Grand Prize winner who will receive a print copy of Glimpse by Steven Whibley + a $10 Amazon gift card (or PayPal cash). Four second prize winners will each receive a print copy of Glimpse.
Contest runs: December 5 to December 20th, 11:59 pm, 2013
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Steven Whibley and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
* I was given this book free-of-charge by the author in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own. The author contacted us to participate in our Book Promotion Program where we will tweet and share information about this book, the author, and the giveaway.*