Introducing Tor Maddox, a heroine for our times
“I know that one day, I'm going to have to live in the real world. I'd like it to be a decent one.” - Tor
Tor Maddox: Unleashed
When sixteen-year-old Torrance Olivia Maddox, self-confessed news junkie, figures out that the mysterious and deadly New Flu is being spread by dogs, she has one question—if the danger is that obvious to her, why hasn’t the government revealed the truth and taken action? Her search for the answer will take her farther than she ever imagined. But then again, she never imagined that man’s best friend could become public enemy number one, that men in black might show up in her cozy suburban neighborhood, that she’d spend her sixteenth birthday as a teenaged runaway, and that her effort to save one dog would become a mission to save them all.
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About the Author
Author Liz Coley remembers the teen years more vividly than she remembers what she had for breakfast. Her stories feature teens creating lives of consequence, teens whose choices make a difference for themselves, for others, and even for the world. Strangely enough (or not) adults love reading these stories, too. Liz has written a lot of novels. Where are they? Pretty Girl-13 has been published in 12 translations on 5 continents. Out of Xibalba and the Tor Maddox series can be found on Smashwords and other ebook distributors; the others are waiting to see the light. Her short stories, all science fiction/fantasy, have appeared in several anthologies as well Cosmos Magazine. For more, please visit at lizcoley.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It all starts when Tor reads a conspiracy blog without really paying attention. It sticks in her mind, though---does this blogger really think dogs are spreading pestilence and the government is covering it up? Why haven't her beloved news venues mentioned anything about this strange new flu and its possible connection to man's best friend? Surely her beloved Cocoa isn't about to become an enemy of humanity! Tor is a teen I'd like to call my own although she really is almost too good to be true. Intelligent, pretty, comfortable in her own body, bighearted, kind, enjoys learning vocabulary, so forth and so on and, yet, she doesn't come across as a goody two shoes. Tor does have a few failings such as being a bit headstrong and not always recognizing potential consequences but, after all, she's not yet 16 years old so I think we can forgive her occasional lack of wisdom. She also has a terrific friend, Sioux, and her brother, Rody, is a rather cool guy as brothers go. Then there are her parents who named their children after the places where they conceived said children---TMI indeed ;-) At first, Tor just follows what little news there is about the flu but everything takes on a much more ominous tone when her dad tells her about the first death in the hospital where he works. After the Men in Black show up on her doorstep and the CDC calls for doggy quarantine, Tor begins to morph into a bit of an avenging angel in defense of Cocoa and the other dogs in mortal danger. One twist follows another and Tor's search for truth and justice soon leads to some very uncomfortable answers. Ms. Coley has taken a serious idea and leavened it with just enough humor and fast pacing to make it highly entertaining as well as full of suspense and I think I'm going to have to read some more "adventures of Tor". Lines like this will draw me in every time: "Side bar. Actually, a lot of us ask this question regularly. What were our parents thinking?"
Let me start by saying that I typically steer away from the YA genre. The angst-ridden, besotted, silly fluff just doesn't do it for someone who is used to reading hard mysteries and thrillers. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find our heroine, Tor Maddox, to be a sharp thinking teen beyond her years - and the fact that she is a ballet dancer rather endeared her to this former pointe shoe clad girl. So Tor, full name Torrance - yes, after the Southern California beach known for gnarly waves - is fifteen going on sixteen, who actually thinks like a woman going on thirty and is addicted to the news. She has her nose to the grindstone at Poway High and surfs the news feeds for information in her off time where she stumbles across a blog supposedly about U.S. government secrets. Her first instinct is to ignore the latest post about man's best friend soon to become enemy numero uno, but then strange things start to happen. And her chocolate lab, Cocoa, becomes a target. So when a strange and deadly flu virus makes the jump from canine to human, Tor is the right girl to piece the puzzle together as mandatory visits to the veterinarian lead her to do the unthinkable in order to save Cocoa's life - placing her in the sights of government officials and earning her a meeting with one of CNN's top journalists. But it all goes horribly wrong. In order to know more, you will have to read the book - and I highly recommend you do. Yes, there are moments that are utterly ridiculous for a sixteen-year-old to accomplish - but hey, isn't it every teenager's dream to best the adults and save the world? Tor uses her reasoning skills along with her physical skills to move the story along in a way that you forget you are dealing with a bunch of teenagers and simply allows the reader to enjoy a good story. Plotting and pacing are excellent, the story opening with a layer of suspicion as Tor reads the most recent secret blog post. The novel is told in first person and properly maintains Tor's POV throughout without devolving into more than just a basic level of telling to provide necessary backstory to our characters. Once that is over, showing instead of telling moves along quickly as we follow the events as Tor experiences them, involving some hilarious moments when she is faced with her first government official meeting. I don't remember a single issue with editing, so thumbs up from me. Content Warning: Except for perhaps one swear word and some sad moments involving canine companions, there is virtually nothing objectionable in this novel. Teens of all ages will love living large and dangerous through Tor's antics. Adults will enjoy the smart moments where Tor more than adequately puts the grey matter to the test. Overall, this outing earns a well-deserved five stars from me. I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for review and was not financially compensated for my opinion.
Tor Maddox, the main character in this story is a sixteen year old girl who is smart, intuitive, brave and extremely likable. She is a very well developed character and is energetic, quirky and at times laugh out loud funny. This book is so well rounded, with mystery intrigue, suspense and quite the adventure. The plot is just so well crafted, it will have you turning the pages until the very end. You don't have to be a teen to read this book, I think it is suitable for all ages. I really enjoyed this read and can;t wait to see what Tor gets up to next. I was generously provided a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
This is a modern day, teenage mystery/thriller with a fantastic teen voice. Tor is exactly the kind of girl one would expect to run into in the high school hallways--a little mouthy, a little head-strong, but a big heart and ready to stick up for what she believes in. . .even if it means going what most people would consider a little over-board. We start with her in a park walking her cute doggy (yep, one to fall in love with). The opening scene with the 'older' guy was simply fun and was a great way to start off the story, which although manages to keep a 'light' tone, still delves into some pretty serious areas. That was one of my favorite aspects of this book, the way it took a very serious situation and definitely hit the thriller end without having the overly dark, morbid feeling often found in YA literature. Tor finds herself in deep trouble, and she's up against a horrible threat, but her view of the world manages to stay hopeful. The supporting characters in this story are lovely. There's a great relationship between Tor and her brother, and the parents manage the situation with parenting perfectness. I think any teen would love to jump into Tor's shoes. . .although maybe not have the evil men pursuing them. The only thing that bothered me in this book is the pace. Although things are happening all of the time, for some reason the danger seemed a little lacking (despite the threat against Tor, I sometimes just didn't feel much tension). But that's not enough to ruin the story! This is a wonderful mystery/thriller that especially girls ages 13+ up will enjoy. The situations are realistic, hide messages that will make the reader think, and still keep a wonderfully modern, true to life air.
Note: I received a free digital copy of this book thanks to Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. Unleashed is a fun, interesting book that all dog-lovers will find enjoyable! Plot: The storyline is pretty unique to me, or at least, I haven’t read or heard of many books based on it. It’s relatively fast-paced, however I was expecting a bit more ‘thrilling’ action scenes, as this is, a thriller. Nonetheless, it was still a good plot. It did kind of take me a little bit of time to really get into the book, but once I did, especially near the middle and end, I was really immersed in the story, and I kept flipping pages because the plot/storyline had me hooked. Characters: I really liked Tor, although she did come off as quite childish at times. Sometimes this bothers me, but this time it slipped my attention until after finishing the book. Tor isn’t your average girl. Where other girls are squealing about boys and wearing makeup, Tor watches the news and uses advanced vocabulary. She’s smart, loves animals, especially dogs, and stands up for what she believes in. Tor isn’t afraid to speak her mind, or act on what she thinks is right, and I really admired that throughout the book. As far as other characters go, I felt like they weren’t as developed as Tor, but I still liked them. Rick Turner, the love interest, isn’t the best, but I did really like Tor’s friend Sasha, as he seems like a very mysterious character and is very likeable. I don’t want to give away and spoilers, so I’ll leave it at that! Writing Style The writing style was fairly easy to read, and made it simple to visualize what I was reading in my head, and I really enjoyed reading it! The writing style made the book lots of fun to read, and there was a kind of style to it that I can’t really name.Often there would be this prose to the writing, a slight poetic feel to it (not always though) but I wouldn’t notice it until afterwards. It kind of all slips on top of everything, since it’s so easy to read. Overall… A very interesting book involving conspiracy theories, virology, romance and dogs. If you like dogs, this would be a good pick for you, because not only does the whole book surround dogs and the flu they have gotten, the main character’s goal is to keep her dog, and all the other dogs, safe. So what could be better, if you’re a dog-lover? But even if you don’t like dogs, this book might still be a good pick because of the start of a forbidden romance, or the thriller aspect of the story. All in all, I liked this book, and if this seems like your thing, go for it!