By S.R. Johannes
Published by Coleman and Stott
Reviewed by Ally Barber
ABOUT THE BOOK
Nature girl, Grace, has lived in the Smoky Mountains all her life, patrolling the wilderness with her father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and survival.
When her forest ranger father goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him.
One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating English accent and a deep-seeded secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to find her missing father. She must use her survival instincts to survive, find her father, and - hopefully - return home.
Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever her new teen romance, her family relationships, and the lives of many that live in her small town. She finds herself questioning who to trust, even questioning those closest to her.
Soon, she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves.
Kirkus Reviews called this teen book "a dramatic entanglement of mystery, deception and teen romance." While Reader's Favorite loved the action adventure mixed with "a message of wildlife conservation". This teen series for girls has it all: teen romance, action adventure, and mystery all backdropped by the Smoky Mountains. The twists and turns will create mystery and suspense that will keep you guessing until the very end.
Genre: Teen Romance/Thriller
3.5 out of 5 stars
Sixteen-year-old Grace is a true nature girl and survivalist, having spent all her life in the Smoky Mountains patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her everything she knows. Her happy life changes completely when her father mysteriously goes missing on patrol. Three months after his disappearance, there is little evidence that he is still alive and hope is pretty much lost. That is, of course, for everyone except Grace. Grace refuses to believe that her intelligent survivalist father died in the woods he knew and loved and undertakes an investigation of her own to find him. To complicate matters, Grace has to deal with her deteriorating relationship with her mother and finds herself in the midst of a love triangle with her ex-boyfriend and friend Wyn and the mysterious English geology student Mo.
Untraceable is an entertaining and enjoyable read. The book is full of great descriptive imagery and exciting action, keeping the reader continually interested and on their toes. Grace, for all her faults, is a tenacious and gutsy girl who refuses to give up on her father and is determined to find him. Though her determination leads her into sticky situations, her fortitude is quite admirable and she is a likable character. Her two love interests, Wyn and Mo, are opposites of one another – your typical boy next door and the mysterious foreign stranger. The teen romance and the mystery of the main plot combine to create an enjoyable and engaging work of fiction.
I quite enjoyed Untraceable. It’s an exciting, thrilling read with just the right amount of romance thrown in and the characters are easily likable. That being said, I do take issue with the inconsistencies in Grace’s character. As one who is meant to be a super tough and intelligent survivalist nature girl, Grace made plenty of honestly silly mistakes that did not mesh with the image the author created for her. This seems to be a result of the fact that the author allowed the plot to drive the book rather than the characters, thereby forcing Grace to make decisions that didn’t make sense personality-wise. However, if you are reading the book for pure entertainment value, it is possible to overlook these inconsistencies and take the novel as is. Also, I was continually distracted by the overuse of British slang by Mo. Actual English people don’t say ‘poppycock’ unless they are elderly or living at the turn of the century.
Overall, Untraceable is an entertaining and exciting book that, despite the inconsistencies in the protagonist’s personality, is sure to keep the reader’s attention and push them onto the next installment.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
S.R. Johannes is the award-winning author of the Amazon bestselling Nature of Grace thriller series (Untraceable, Uncontrollable, and Unstoppable). She is a winner of the IndieReader Discovery Award in YA, an IPPY a Silver Medalist for YA Fiction, a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review's Best Young Adult Fiction, and a Finalist in US Book News Best YA Book.
Since leaving Corporate America, she has followed her passion for writing and conservation by working with The Dolphin Project, the Atlanta Zoo, other animal rescue organizations, and by weaving conservation themes into her books. Currently, she lives in Atlanta, GA with her English-accented husband and the huge imaginations of their prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for writing a review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.