Genre: YA, Mystery, Supernatural
“Even if you know you’re sleeping, you’re still at the mercy of your dreams. People who are asleep can’t simply decide to wake up. Nightmares don’t let you off that easily. They hold you in their clutches until they decided, in their own good time, to let you go.”
― Steven James, Blur
Series: Blur Trilogy
The isolated town of Beldon, Wisconsin, is shocked when a high school freshman’s body is found in Lake Algonquin. Just like everyone in the community, sixteen-year-old Daniel Byers believes that Emily Jackson’s death was accidental. But at her funeral, when he has a terrifying vision of her, his world begins to rip apart at the seams.
Convinced that Emily’s appearance was more than just a mere hallucination, Daniel begins to look carefully into her death, even as he increasingly loses the ability to distinguish fantasy from reality.
What’s real? What’s not? Where does reality end and madness begin?
As Daniel struggles to find the truth, his world begins to crumble around him as he slips further and further into his own private blurred reality.
Full of mind-bending twists and turns, Blur launches a new trilogy of young adult thrillers from Steven James, a master of suspense.
This is a YA Mystery novel that before picking it up on a whim, I had heard nothing about it and had no idea what it was about. I have to say I was quite surprised. Although it was not the best book I have ever read (listened to), it was an interesting twist to a normal whodunnit, was fast paced and a gripping read.
Being the first time reading anything by Steven James, I have to say I found his writing to be easy to get into and thought he did suspense/mystery well! The story unravels slowly enough that you are never given too much information and left wondering what is happening and trying to piece together the mystery of what happened to Emily Jackson alongside Daniel. I will admit that James held out well on the clues and I wasn’t even close to figuring out what happened or who was involved. I also found the supernatural elements to be quite intriguing and really added to the mystery and even messed with your mind a little while trying to figure out the case of whodunnit. I loved the poetry and writing that Daniel did throughout the story. It was very deep and really worked well with the story and what was going on with Daniel.
I found the characters to be very likable and a refreshing twist on a main character. It was interesting that the popular, star athlete was the one who got involved with solving the incident of a ignored freshman girl and the fact that he was also having some schizo tendencies was a twist on the stereotypical character type. While struggling internal with the veil of reality, Daniel still worried about others and was a strong character. The secondary characters were also interesting and there was a moment that I really fell in love with Mia and thought she proved to be a badass even though she is a very secondary character not mentioned much. Other than that there is not much character develop on any of the characters besides Daniel and I wasn’t happy with the ending for the fact that you aren’t really told why it was being done.
Overall I thought this was an intriguing, fast paced suspense whodunnit with supernatural elements. James’s writing really pulls you in and he has a way with words and descriptions that added to the overall feel of the story. It did drag at times and just didn’t complete knock me off my feet, but if you like an easy to read edge of your seat novel this is a good choice for you.