3 out of 4 stars
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Receiving an invitation from For Paws Animal Sanctuary (FPAS) because of his book is the highlight of Ryan's writing career to date. By the time he and his wife, Kris, visit the sanctuary, they are sold on the idea of moving to Lakebed Canyon to become a part of the charity organisation. What they do not take into account, however, is the sinister nature of events surrounding the sanctuary. When certain strange events begin to occur, Ryan and Kris are determined to uncover the truth of the sanctuary. Their revelation will rattle the very borders of sanity.
Lakebed by Chris Coppel intrigued me. From the introductory part of the book to its conclusion, the author found a way to reveal—and yet not reveal—the true story of Lakebed. The book was roughly divided into two parts. The first (introductory) part detailed the history of Lakebed from many years ago and the tragedy that befell its inhabitants. The second part narrated the aftermath of the destruction as told through the experiences of Ryan and Kris.
Lakebed Canyon harboured many secrets, and the author made sure to capitalize on this element of the story to amplify the sanctuary's mythical feel. I also appreciated how the author seamlessly linked the two eras of Lakebed Canyon with the way he inserted clues throughout the story. I never felt at any point like I was missing a piece of the puzzle.
I loved the relationship between Ryan and Kris. They were a very lovable, hilarious, and daring couple. The affection between them was evident through their constant banter and unspoken agreement to never stick to rules. They couldn't be stopped once they unanimously set their hearts to do something; their doggedness and passion for adventure were impossible to overlook. These traits helped flesh out both characters and played a massive role in their mission to uncover some of the sanctuary's secrets.
Coppel also used their stubbornness to introduce some moments of humor. One such moment was when there was a warning to everyone not to venture outside or leave their lights on during the night of the solstice. Ryan and Kris flouted the instructions without a care in the world. When John, the CEO of the sanctuary, told Ryan that his wife was having an affair, Ryan couldn't control his laughter. The depth of their bond and mutual trust appealed to me.
Sadly, this book wasn't professionally edited; I found enough instances of grammar and typographical errors to arrive at this conclusion. Although the mistakes didn't dampen my enjoyment of this story, they were too obvious to miss. Besides its lack of proper editing, this tale was an unending cascade of adventure that will keep anyone engaged to the end. Its plot was superb, and the suspense Coppel built into the story was breathtaking. I'm sad that I can only rate it 3 out of 4 stars because of the lack of professional editing. I recommend it to people who love a good mystery story and would do anything for an adventure.
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