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Kiss    by Ted Dekker & Erin Healy order for
by Ted Dekker
Order:  USA  Can
Thomas Nelson, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Lindsey Freitas

'Nightmares of death by black water ticked off the hours of the deepest sleep Shauna McAllister had ever experienced. In an eternal loop, she choked and drowned and was somehow resuscitated, only to choke and drown again, and again, in an endless terror. Always the same fight, the same thrashing for air. Always the same intense agony for the same amount of time before the screen of her mind dimmed.
Then it would flicker back to life.
Merciless, exhausting.

Six long months of coma. Shauna awakens to find her world shattered. She was the driver in a tragic car accident, one in which she and her brother survived - but she got the better part of the deal. All she has lost is a portion of her memory. He lost everything but his life. Is it a coincidence that the accident is a part of her life she doesn't remember?

When strange things begin happening to Shauna and she starts experiencing what she at first can only explain as visions, a deadly chain of events unfolds - nothing is as it seems, and the truth is as elusive as her lost memories.

Think you know where this story is going? If you've ever read a Ted Dekker novel before, then you should know that it won't be that simple. The likelihood of a predictable plot is so low it's practically nonexistent - one of the many reasons I wait with bated breath (so to speak) for each new Dekker release. I love novels that make you think past the plot, obsessively evaluate the motives of the characters involved, and try to guess where the author is going with the story. This was definitely not a disappointment. Really, you should have seen my face when the reason for the title of the book dawned on me. Brilliant.

I was enthralled with Kiss. I found myself in a dilemma - I wanted it to last longer and so tried to read slowly, but the nonstop action and the fact that you have no idea what is coming next make this a wouldn't-put-it-down-for-anything read. As is usual with Ted Dekker's novels (though it's hard for me to use the word usual in a review of one of his books), you are so intertwined in the thoughts and emotions of the characters that the real world fades away. And you don't want to come back to reality!

Shauna is an interesting, complex character, something I really appreciated. Who in this world isn't complex, after all? She agonizes over her lack of memory. As anyone would, she agonizes over the fact that the accident that put her in a coma is apparently her fault - and she can't even remember it. How can you feel complete remorse and responsibility for something when you can't remember what you did wrong - or even imagine yourself doing it ever. Shauna becomes a truth-seeker, something she is essentially driven to when she discovers she has the ability to open a window into people's minds.

Kiss is a heart-pounding, mind-bending thriller, one that I highly recommend to both men and women. Definitely a keeper!

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