Customer Reviews for

The Unseen

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  • Posted March 28, 2009

    Keeps you guessing

    This is the first novel by TL Hines that I've read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. At times creepy, thrilling, poignant, and even confusing, it's never dull or boring. I'm in awe of Hines' talent for plotting and weaving such a complex story. As I read the book and tried to figure out where the story was going, the prose played out in my mind like a movie, and I could easily seeing this play out onscreen. It's written in a wonderfully cinematic manner.

    As this book is published by a Christian publisher, I found myself searching for a Christian message or theme in the book. That there isn't anything overt in the novel doesn't detract from it one bit. The protaganist constantly experiences a struggle within his soul and finds solace and answers in an abandoned church, but that's the closest to a "faith message" that can be found. And that's just fine with me.

    One thing I appreciated was the lack of foul language and sexual deviancy in the book. Is this representative of reality? Considering the subject matter, no. But as someone who doesn't want to be pummeled with cursing and assaulted with perversions, Hines has proven that you can write a solid, entertaining, and thrilling thriller without them. The Unseen is an excellent book, and I highly recommend it for fans of thrillers, mysteries, and even sci-fi.

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  • Posted January 14, 2009

    This one will keep you guessing to the last page!

    The Unseen is the first book I've read by T.L. Hines, and I look forward to reading more! The plot twists and turns keep you guessing until the very last page. When the book begins, you start to get an idea of just who Lucas, the main character is...then you very quickly learn that there is more to him that you imagined. Little by little, throughout the book, Hines pieces together Lucas' past. He gives you hints, but he still completely caught me off guard with the ending. The plotline was very original and kept my glued. As you progress through the book, you wonder how the author is going to pull what seems to be several different plot lines together, but once they all tie in, it whole story comes together wonderfully. I got so involved with the book and so caught up in the storyline that I wanted to check every ceiling, closet and crawl space in my home and office as I was reading - you'll understand what I mean after just a couple of chapters! After reading The Unseen, I would love to pick up more books by T.L. Hines. If you are a fan of suspense and mystery novels, I would definately recommend this book!

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  • Posted January 13, 2009

    Good book overall

    Hines describes the genre of his books as "noir bizarre". You can see his blog (at http://www.tlhines.com/questions/content/whats-noir-bizarre-thing) for more of an explanation, but I think bizarre is a pretty accurate description. In his latest book, "The Unseen", the main character is a little hard to like at first. Lucas is a loner who likes to hide in public places and observe the people around him. He limits himself to public places, but soon gets caught up with a group who spies on people in their homes. He struggles with the morality of what they are doing, but also gets caught up trying to help out the people they are spying on. At the same time, Lucas is dealing with his past, which he has a hard time remembering. While I started out a little put off by the topic, I soon found myself intrigued and wondering what was going to happen next. Ironically, I realized that reading a book is very similar to what Lucas is doing, putting yourself in a voyeur position in the lives of the characters of the book. Overall, this is a pretty good book with several twists that you won't see coming. The ending was a little strange, but that just brings us back to the bizarre part of "noir bizarre".

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  • Posted January 12, 2009

    One of the best books

    The Unseen by T.L. Hines is one of the best fictional books I have read. Hines wrote this book so skillfully and had me at the edge of my seat. The book, is about Lucas, who's a loner who watches people and makes up stories about their lives. Then Lucas meets Donavan, who is involved with the Creep Club.The Creep Club is a group who watch people inside of their houses and very much invade personal space for fun.But the catch is, the more disturbing the situation, the better. Lucas finds himself with quite a few tough choices and also finds out about himself along the way. <BR/><BR/>This is a book you need to read before judging it by its description. It can be a bit different because it talks about a bunch of people watching other people, but it does not get to odd to where you can not understand what the book is talking about it.But again, you need to read it completely before deciding that. It probaly will not be everyones favorite book, but I would recommend it to someone who would be interested in a, as they describe it, Supernatural fiction. ( It is not a freaky-like supernatural book.)

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  • Posted January 11, 2009

    The Unseen was Unexpected.

    When I started reading The Unseen by T.L.Hines I thought I was going to be creeped out by it. The back cover copy says, ¿Lucas is a loner, but he¿s never alone. From secret hiding places, he peers into the lives of others. Creepy, huh? The whole idea that someone is watching you is creepy. Though in my work office you¿d be hard-pressed to watch me without my knowing it. Despite my misgivings, I decided to try the book anyway.<BR/>I¿m glad I did.<BR/>This book isn¿t just about a guy who watches other people. Lucas is a man with a past. He thinks he knows what that is, but you find out he doesn¿t. So as not to spoil the end, I won¿t say more than that.<BR/>One day he runs into another person in the steam tunnels under Washington DC. He¿d never encountered someone in his territory so he Googles the person. He finds out there are others who watch people as they work and live. He goes to a meeting of a group called The Creep Club. He doesn¿t like what he sees.<BR/>This is where his life goes South. I could not have predicted how events unfold in the rest of the book. This is always a plus. As a writer I have a pretty good imagination and I know all about twists and turns. When an author can keep me guessing that makes for a good read. So two thumbs up to T.L. Hines.

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  • Posted January 10, 2009

    Intense

    I have never read a book by T. L. Hines, but I selected it to review from the Thomas Nelson website because it sounded interesting. <BR/><BR/>I don't think I have read a book in a long time that had so many twist and turns in it. At first it was sort of boring, but once Lucas says hello to another urban creeper his whole world is turned upside down. You don't know who is the good guy or who is the bad guy through out the entire book and that makes for a really good read.<BR/><BR/>I will defiantly have to go back and take a look at some of his other works and see if they are as good as this one. <BR/>I know that just because it is a CBA book doesn't necessarily make it a shall I say Inspirational book and I guess I just read my first one because I thought this was a secular book at first. :)

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  • Posted January 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Unseen, A Must Read

    Previously, author T. L. Hines revealed the lives of Jude Allman, a man dead three times, yet alive in Waking Lazarus and Canada, whose dead father speaks to her from shadows in The Dead Whisper On.<BR/><BR/>With The Unseen, Hines shows us Lucas, a man with seemingly no past, working odd jobs for money he stashes away in secret places. With no home, he residences in hidden spaces of public buildings. Elevator shafts, crawl spaces, etc. Spying on strangers, seeking connection. Lucas is alone and a loner to the nth degree, pushing away people who try to get close, even his pretty coworker.<BR/><BR/>Until the Creep Club invades his world. His lifestyle's a hobby for them. Urban exploring. They take it further than Lucas would dream. Filming their adventures, making their own home movies. Cheap thrills, not connection.<BR/><BR/>Lucas finds he must intervene. A life is at stake. This decision forces him to unravel a past he didn't remember.<BR/><BR/>Once again, Hines creates a compelling protagonist and throws them in a blender of the unexpected. Sometimes his writing is downright lyrical, yet simple and readable.<BR/><BR/>Consider becoming a volunteer publicist through his website. You just find yourself in a future T. L. Hines novel. I'll be in his upcoming release, Faces In The Fire.

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  • Posted January 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    "The Unseen" by T. L. Hines

    We've all had those moments when we felt like we were being watched--unseen eyes hovering nearby, taking in our every move.<BR/><BR/>That creepy feeling becomes reality in T. L. Hines latest novel, The Unseen. <BR/><BR/>The main character, Lucas, has an interesting hobby. He likes to watch people without them knowing it. He is a loner who spends his free time sneaking into places that most people don't even know exist. From his unseen vantage points, he quietly watches people go about their every day lives.<BR/><BR/>Within a few pages, things get turned around, and Lucas gets drawn into a world of espionage and danger, losing the anonymity that he feeds on.<BR/><BR/>T.L. Hines is a skilled expert at enticing the reader into the story and compelling us to empathize with Lucas in spite of his questionable activity. All the characters are portrayed as unique individuals, clearly drawn and brought to life on the pages. In a word, they are unforgettable.<BR/><BR/>Before the book is over it has turned into a fast-paced, high-action suspense thriller that you can't put down. As I read the book I could see the scenes playing out in my mind, much like pictures on a giant movie screen. <BR/><BR/>The story won't just tug at you a little; it will grab you by the throat and refuse to let go until the last page is read. T. L. Hines not only puts the reader in the mind of the character, but in his skin. <BR/><BR/>After reading only a portion of the story, I found myself checking to see if someone was watching me. I even examined walls in public places to see if there were suspicious-looking holes, and I locked doors behind me in my own home (after checking all possible hiding places, of course)!<BR/><BR/>(See http://wordvessel.blogspot.com for more book reviews.)

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  • Posted January 7, 2009

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    Making a Connection with The Unseen

    I just finished the book, The Unseen, by T. L. Hines today and I'm glad I started it during winter break. Almost any book that can carry a story will also carry me from my obligations to a world where all-I-want-to-do-is-find-out-what-happens-next. This novel was certainly no exception. It was a different read for me, as I'm looking at the page of publishing data right now, it falls into the category: supernatural. I don't think that such a vague term really gives the book credit, as it stretches your capacity to believe in unfathomable ways. <BR/><BR/> For starters (and not for the spoils) you are introduced to a character named Lucas. He. Is. Weird. This guy knows how to tuck himself away into the smallest spaces and the tiniest gaps. He will create a setup for himself where he has the most opportune way of spying on people. One day he'll suspend himself behind acoustic ceiling tiles and stare down at his subject from microscopic peepholes he has drilled. In another instance, he has found a way to squeeze into a cleaning closest at a donut shop and feed the desire to make a Connection with customers on a purely sensory level; to create that feeling that we¿ve all experienced of being watched. <BR/><BR/> But Lucas' character grows on the reader and it's not long before you accept his lifestyle as normal compared to an elite group he encounters that takes the hobby of infiltration to the next level: enter the Creep Club. <BR/><BR/> Lucas' very independent, sterile and controlled routine rebels and takes on a life of it¿s own, throwing him into a tumult of action, double agents, lies and layers of hidden secrets. Is he being used? Who is behind the Creep Club? And is there any rhyme or reason to who is being watched? <BR/><BR/> The last fourth of the novel was a little too high octane for me to follow, as the pacing of the book attempted (although I'm not sure of how successful it was) to keep up with Lucas' sudden and reactive responses to his circumstances. I'm still processing the ending, which is almost too unbelievable. And yet in the final pages, my curiosity got the better of me, and I knew wanted to find out what would happen to these characters beyond the covers of this book, I made the connection. <BR/><BR/> I would suggest this book to those who like thrills, quick movement, and fluidity and for anyone who has ever wanted to look and see. This book will pull you into a vivid world of people who are The Unseen. (Interestingly enough, I found the discussion questions in the back very thought provoking and helped me to interact with the characters and text in a way I would not have otherwise pursued).

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  • Posted January 6, 2009

    Really Liked It!

    My head is spinning--in a good way. There are so many layers to The Unseen, that I didn't see it coming (pardon the pun.) The book starts with Lucas, a man who spies on people in public places, and lives in underground tunnels and other unauthorized areas. Honestly, I didn't know what to think of him at first, and thought he was kind of creepy for a main character. But the longer I read, the more I found myself concerned for Lucas and drawn into his character journey. <BR/><BR/>Enter the Creep Club. The book escalates to a new level when Lucas finds others like himself who watch people. (As a side note, one of the websites mentioned in the book is real: infiltration.org, and there really are people slinking around in places they don't belong, and then bragging about it!) From there we have a surprising mixture of secret agents, genetics, and the key to Lucas's past. Though he was an unlikely hero in the beginning, he had me rooting for him in the end. Lots of twists and surprises, and there was no way I could've predicted the end.

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  • Posted January 2, 2009

    Book Review - The Unseen (T.L. Hines)

    The Unseen poses a controversial hero, Lucas, who lives his life away from society eyes. He has no identity, no job and no home address. He spends his life hidden in ceilings and ventilation systems of public buildings, secretly spying on the lives of the people working in those buildings. <BR/><BR/>At first, I was appalled at the idea; however, the voyeur within soon began to enjoy the thrill of secretly observing the lives, habits and ¿totems¿ of people. Silent, moving smoothly, leaving no traces, feeding on food left in refrigerators after office hours. He avoinds any human encounter, his only interaction with society being the totems he likes to subtly collect from the people he watches. His only desire is to remain unseen. <BR/><BR/>Lucas appears to have grown up in an orphanage, and his interest in spending his life hidden in places hard to reach derives from the times in his childhoold when he crept on the roof of the orphanage. <BR/>Reading Lucas¿ story and overcoming my disagreement with his way of life, I grew to look at things through his eyes. I began to feel curiosity towards the people observed, and to feel the desire that no one interacts with me or finds my location.<BR/><BR/>Therefore, I was as startled as Lucas when his entire universe was overthrown, as he was caught in the midst of racing action, and his profile came into the spotlight, while he ducked his way through secret agents encounters and gunshots to keep his life. In the end, it all comes together to make sense, as Lucas finds the truth about his origin and chooses a new way of life.<BR/><BR/>Overall, the book kept me on my toes in a rush of suspense, andrenalin and tables turned.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2008

    The Unseen Excellence!

    I¿ve never had an interest for reading fictional material unless it was required. So in writing this review, I lack much prior experience of what makes up for a creative novel. That being said, The Unseen is an immediate masterpiece that centers around Lucas, a loner who makes his home in abandoned buildings, and underground areas. He often creates hiding decks in public areas while he carefully observes people¿s expressions and behavior. When he saw people with sorrow, he often imagined a story to explain that sadness.<BR/><BR/>Lucas is an interesting character, for he sought more than a ¿observational¿ relationship - he wanted that connection, something that could bring happiness. He often kept pictures of people as a collection of some sort to remind him of that happiness. It brought him comfort to perhaps ease his dark vibration; his longing for something bigger. What makes this books special is how it puts Lucas in positions that pushes him to do things he never would¿ve imagined himself doing. <BR/><BR/>Yet he sought for it, and so the plot thickens to unpredictable twists. Someone invaded his area, and he¿s determined to figure it out. He finds others like himself, that he believed would understand his vibration but they go too far. He creates enemies left and right while struggling to survive. As with most novels, it does have a ¿good & evil¿ theme, though I believe it is by far the most unique. <BR/><BR/>While this is a Christian novel, don¿t expect any metaphors or explicit references to God. It has neither of those and if I had not known the writer is a Christian, I probably wouldn¿t have guessed it was written by one! Nevertheless, it does avoid sexual or profane scenes but don¿t let that discourage you. This is definitely not some cheesy novel with predictable concepts, but a rather engaging story that encourages you to evaluate the character and situation.

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  • Posted December 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Quite Unsettling - but a good read

    TL Hines latest book The Unseen is unsettling due to the fact that it affects you on a very primal level. Lurking, spying, snooping, whatever the term, Lucas' life revolves around it. He lives in abandoned buildings, crawl spaces and under the metro line in Washington, DC. Collecting mementos from offices and other semi-private places, but never homes. That is until he meets The Creep Club, a small group who's primary focus is filming and documenting their 'projects'. After Lucas befriends fellow creeper Donovan it isn't long before Lucas is involved with nefarious elements of all kinds and creeds. Somehow even with his under the radar living style he's contacted by the CIA. Or is it the FBI? The struggle to distance himself from The Creep Club's motivations leads him help one of their projects in what can only be described as a clever twist on the age-old cat and mouse game.<BR/><BR/>In reading The Unseen the reader gets the unique point of view of watching someone watch someone else. Quite a unnerving point of view, but done with a quick writing style and separate story lines. This novel could have taken a turn toward the voyeuristic but Hines cleverly doesn't allow that to happen. All in all a very favorable foray into the world of hiding and watching the world go about it's business.

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  • Posted December 19, 2008

    Good But Not Great

    The Unseen has a few things really going for it. It's a fast paced, action packed story with unpredictable plot twists. The main character is developed really well. I became almost attached to him, as his motives, thoughts, actions, and emotions were so raw and realistic. As I read, I felt like I had become entangled with the main character in this impossible and dangerous web. I would have thought I would find the idea of a loner who felt connected to people while observing them without their knowledge too creepy, but instead I felt a compassion for him. I even liked him. And occasionally the writing of this novel reaches lyrical and expressive beauty. That being said, there are also some drawbacks. I felt the overall story which only becomes visible in the end was rather weak. There was a lot of bloodshed and trouble over something that didn't seem very important to me. All characters other than the main character are one-dimensional and their motives, thoughts, actions, and emotions did not always seem very believable to me. Especially at the very end when a female character makes some choices regarding the main character that I found totally unbelievable. I finished the book quickly because it held my interest and I wanted to know what was going to happen. But I was left with a feeling of wanting more substance. I was hoping all the confusing twists and loose strings would wrap up in something a bit more amazing. I would only recommend this book to people who absolutely love science fiction thrillers. Anyone else would probably be disappointed.

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  • Posted December 16, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    When you look, do you really see? What about the unseen around you?

    "...but no one seemed to notice him. This he knew he could count on. People looked, but they never saw." <BR/> <BR/>Have you ever had that creepy, gives you goose bumps, feeling that someone was watching you and your every move? What if someone truly was watching? What if there was someone--someone in the walls peering out at you, trying to make a connection, trying to get a small glimpse into your life? <BR/><BR/>In The Unseen, by T.L. Hines, Lucas, aka Humpty, reaches out trying to connect with the world around him, while staying hidden. He is harmless, simply spying on those around him in public places and inventing stories about their lives without ever approaching them. This loner lives vicariously through the lives of others. Through his daily infiltrations in the metro DC area, he discovers he is not alone in his urban exploration. He encounters a group called the Creep Club, a club that takes his ¿creeping¿ a step further.<BR/><BR/>Lucas soon gets in over his head and is pulled into the world of double agents, the mafia, and a folk tune singing guitar player. He continues on his quest to do the right thing while struggling with the Dark Vibrations inside.<BR/><BR/>Hines does an expert job of building suspense and throwing the reader for a loop with the number of twists and turns this novel takes. Surprisingly, although published by Thomas Nelson there is not a spiritual side to this book. Although one could make spiritual applications, I expected a more straightforward approach from the publisher. However, that should not stop anyone from reading this excellent novel. The creativity of Hines is enough to keep any thrill seeker turning pages until he reaches the surprising end.

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  • Posted December 15, 2008

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    Creepy on so many levels! Must read!!!

    Have you ever felt like someone was watching you? Have you ever looked up or turned around and found no one there? Have you ever felt the eyes of someone who wasn¿t there boring into you? T.L. Hines has brought new meaning to these feelings of paranoia.<BR/><BR/>Above ceiling tiles, behind closet doors, and atop elevators hides Lucas; watching. Lucas watches others while they work and interact. He creates histories and stories for these individuals. He takes a memento from each of his targets; a picture, a favored scarf, some precious object. <BR/><BR/>Raised in an orphanage outside the Washington D.C. area, Lucas discovered his love of watching others from the roof outside the windows of the orphanage. He watched as the children interacted and played. He watched as the caregivers searched for him. Always watching, never being. Lucas does not technically exist. However, the life Lucas has always known is about to change drastically and his existence will no longer be hidden. A chance encounter begins to unravel a world of deceit, conspiracy, and treachery that Lucas never believed could exist. Lucas discovers that he is not the only person who watches. He finds a group of people who have crossed the line and who must be stopped. <BR/><BR/>Lucas is quickly submerged into a world of lies, creepers, and murder. His existence is made extremely public. He has become the target. The deception peels away like layers of an onion and finally reveals a terrifying link to Lucas¿s past. <BR/><BR/>When I started this book I couldn¿t help but look up at my heating vents. I am thankful that I do not have tiles in my ceiling. The book began to drag in the middle but picked up shortly after I got bored. Once the tangle of lies began to be unknotted I could not put the book down. I also can¿t stop thinking about it! I think everyone must read this book. Maybe these people are really out there.<BR/><BR/>To read this book is to look over your shoulder. Each turn of the page makes the reader feel less and less alone. Each new description of the ¿observation decks¿ created by these people instigates another bout of paranoia and raises questions. Am I being watched? Is someone there? Someone who wishes to remain¿unseen?

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  • Posted December 13, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A thought provoking thriller.

    For many years Lucas Freund has lived his life by mostly being unseen. He has a fascination with hiding small nooks and crannies in buildings all over the city watching strangers through hidden peep holes. He makes up elaborate stories about their lives that give him comfort in between the times when he makes a connection with them. The connection happens when someone either feels his presence without seeing him or when someone seemingly makes eye contact with him again without seeing him. <BR/><BR/>Lucas is a loner with no permanent address. He sleeps in vacant buildings or underground tunnels. One night, his home for the time being is almost found by another "infiltrator", Donovan. Surprisingly Lucas is drawn to Donovan and meets with him the next day. Donovan introduces him to a group called Creep Club whose members watch and record people in their homes... the one place Lucas never dared to watch. <BR/><BR/>Soon Lucas is approached by a federal agent who wants his assistance in gaining access to the group. Lucas is torn by this request but when people start disappearing and turning up dead, things start spiraling into chaos and Lucas is forced to figure out a way out of the trouble.<BR/><BR/>The Unseen pulls you in from the first chapter. Although Lucas has a strange way of life I was rooting for him right from the start. He's such a likable character who is a "do-gooder" at heart. The book is full of surprises coming in the form of plot twists and other characters. <BR/><BR/>The only thing I felt let down about was a strange character at the end (when you read it, you'll know who I'm talking about). Maybe I just didn't understand the author's intentions with this character but I felt he really didn't belong in story and thought the book could have had the same type of ending without him.<BR/><BR/>To me the best part of the book was that it brought up a great point. Many of us see without really seeing. I know I'm guilty of being oblivious to my surroundings which drives my husband nuts. Reading this book has made me a little more conscious of the happenings around me and I've been constantly thinking, "Someone could be watching me right now". I recommend this book for all suspense and thriller lovers.

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  • Posted December 14, 2008

    The Unseen gets Seen

    Lucas has lived most of his life being unseen. He likes the small hidden crevasses above the office spaces in the metro D.C. area. Being able to spy on others is one of his passions. Although he means no harm to them. Since Lucas has no permanent address he sleeps in underground tunnels and vacant buildings. He meets another "infiltrator" Donovan, and is drawn to him. Donovan introduces him to the Creep Club whose members watch and record people in their homes . . . The one place Lucas never wanted to do. While this is something he doesn't want to do he is drawn to them. As with all things, plans spiral out of control and Lucas is forced to figure a way out of the mess.<BR/>This is the first book I've ever read by T.L. Hines, and let me tell you it was a thrill ride from page 1! I give this book a lighthouse and shine a light on it for a great book.

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  • Posted December 8, 2008

    A Good Book to Leave Unseen

    The Unseen by T. L. Hines started with a strange protagonist living out strange fantasies, and the plot never looked back. The author self-describes his genre as "noir bizzare," and the book lived up to the genre.<BR/><BR/>Lucas, the main character, has no identity, no home, and no normal life. He travels from place to place, spying on unsuspecting men and women. He tries to fill a void in his soul, a void that longs for the "Connection" he gets when someone discovers he is watching. And that's the most normal part of the plot.<BR/><BR/>From there, Lucas becomes involved with a variety of unsavory characters and organizations. In the end, Lucas is made to be something of a hero, but the redemption story was anything but satisfying.<BR/><BR/>Lucas was never a likable character, he never drew the reader in to the story, and I found myself putting the book down time and again, always frustrated that the plot wasn't improving.<BR/><BR/>The only thread keeping me hopeful was the possibility that the novel would take a turn and leave the reader with a more enjoyable storyline. Unfortunately, that turn never came, and I finished the book with an emotional mix swinging from a lingering confusion to a disturbing sense of unrest. The main character and his acquaintances were not inviting, the plot was unappealing, and the entire book was less than enjoyable.

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