Terri Blackstock writes another riveting tale of suspense in "Predator," while bringing social and spiritual issues,like Internet overuse and complacency to sin and wrong, to the reader's attention. I read this one in just a few days and am hoping for a sequel! Bravo, Terri!
"Riding my bike to Sinbad's. Dying for a soda, and Dad won't keep them in the house." That was 14-year-old Ella Carmichael's last Thought Bubble posted to the social network Grapevyne. But someone was watching - someone with sinister intentions - and took the opportunity to abduct, rape, and brutally murder the unsuspecting teen. Now her older sister Krista is taking on GrapeVyne and laying a trap for the killer, determined that no other young girls become his next victim. Despite the horrible pain of losing the baby sister she practically raised after their mother's death, Krista turns the tragedy into an opportunity to educate teens and young women about the dangers of posting personal information and current locations on social networking sites. In the process, she ends up working alongside the site's creator and CEO, both of them fighting for their lives as they seek to uncover a potential conspiracy or criminal activity originating with GrapeVyne's parent company and stay a step ahead of a killer.
Not only does Blackstock achieve another suspenseful story with a great surprise ending, but she really makes you stop to consider how our innocent comments on social networking sites can be used for malicious purposes by the wrong person. I want every young woman I care about to read this book and take to heart that particular message. This book will give you nightmares, which is the hallmark of a great thriller, and it will certainly leave you contemplating your own online activities. But it's also a story about using personal adversity to reach out to others, about healing in the midst of tragedy, and about the power of our faith and God's grace to carry us through our darkest trial.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
The characters were well done and, although I figured out the "bad guy" by the middle of the book, the suspense was gripping. Her writing is amazing and she didn't disappoint this time either. I definitely recommend Predator to anyone who likes suspense
I have never been disappointed by Terri Blackstock. The story is timely and relevant. Few people think about how much is revealed when using a computer and this story is a good example of what can happen if we are careless with our info.
I tell ya, Terri Blackstock's books just keep getting better and better! This one had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. What made it so good was that it was a story relevant to the current hi-tech society that we live in. It made me rethink everything that I post online, and thankfully, I know better than to post the intimate details of my life such as where I'm going every day, when I will or won't be home, etc. Some people really just don't know better, and this book tackles that very issue. It may literally scare you witless.
I would recommend this book to anyone, but particularly to parents and older teens. Some parents don't pay attention to what their children are looking at online, what networks they belong to, or who their friends are. That, in and of itself, is plain scary, but what's scarier is that you never know who's watching and what someone's intent may be. There's a section of the story where Terri just puts it in black and white through the voice of one of her characters:
"Examine your social networks and take down everything you've posted that you wouldn't want a murderous predator to see. Don't post where you are, ever. Don't post where you live, or your school, or your town, or your church. Don't post pictures that identify places, like colleges or schools or particular teams you might be on. Never post your work schedule or your activities or your travel plans. And don't flood the site with pictures of yourself. You have no idea how much information a predator can get from those pictures."
I loved this book because I got a great story plus some really relevant information. This has to be one of THE BEST books that Terri has ever written, and I applaud her for writing about a subject that is very prevalent in today's society. The characters in the story are real, the circumstances harrowing, and the roadblocks they face agonizing. Predator gets a huge 5 star rating from me!
This is a must read for anyone who does social networking. We tend to forget there are people out there who want nothing more than to harm others and the information we put on line only helps them to accomplish this. It's a definate read for parents who's children have social networking accounts so they will know what not to let their kids put on their account.
I love Terry's books, they never disappoint me! This story was gripping from start to finish. The story also made me think about the information I inadverntly give about myself while on line. Important message!
This book should wake up alot of parents out there. I recommend all who have children with facebook,twitter,myspace or any kind of social networking sites to read this and know this stuff is out there for real. The devil is real and seeking out who he may devour. It is so dangerous to think it's not real. I applaud Terri for writing this book. She drew from reality. Like it or not, the internet is full of evil things and people the devil can use. It is not really for children to read but if you have a young adult of college age, it will benefit them to know and be aware of such wickedness in this world. I have children of this age and I tell them always to be on the look out for dangerous situations. It was disturbing in parts but no more violent than what is showed everyday on the TV or internet. If you like suspence and "who done it" mysteries then this book is for you. And if it helps just one person protect someone they love from harm's way then it was worth the read.
Loved the book. Being a young adult I am on facebook often. The book really started to make me think about the information I put online. Without thinking you might put what time you get out of work, if your home alone, and when you are leaving on vacation. All that information could get you killed. I post on facebook much less now after reading the book. When I do post something I am very careful about what I am telling people, even if I think they are all friends I can trust.
This was the second book I read by Terri Blackstock and found it to be suspenseful and an eye opener at the same time. A current event mystery that could actually happen in today's world. A great read I highly recommend.
If youre a member of any popular networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or MySpace I urge you to read this book. If youve not been too concerned about the amount of information that youre giving out when participating online, or whether or not youre putting yourself at risk this book will make you think twice. Please READ THIS BOOK! Are you friending people online that are complete strangers? Do you ever wonder if those in charge of social networking sites are abusing your information or snooping? This story is a perfect example of how technology can be used for goodand evil. It was eye opening and made me think long and hard. The storyline revolves around an online predator who is stalking people through the popular GrapeVyne network. As the perpetrator makes friends with complete strangers online, they are able to gather enough information to target their victims and murder them. In every case, the victim brings the predator right to them by sharing details of their locations and their activities. When Krista Carmichaels young teenage sister is kidnapped and then brutally beaten, raped and murdered, Krista goes on a mission to find the perpetrator. Krista discovers that her sister has over 1,000 friends in the GrapeVyne network, and that the killer used online information to target her sister. Krista begins to investigate and discovers how slippery the slope of internet networking can be, when used incorrectly. She tries to prevent others from making the same mistakes that her sister did and begins talking to young teenage girls about their online activities. In an effort to find her sisters killer, Krista sets up a bogus online identity in an attempt to lure the killer to her doorstep. Krista also implores the help of Ryan Adkins, the CEO of GrapeVyne, much to the chagrin of his board members.
I thought this book was suspenseful, and it kept me interested. I like mysteries but refuse to read the garbage that has obscenities and other trash in them, so Terri Blackstock's books are a great choice. If you have a facebook page or twitter account, you should read this book. It will scare you enough to think twice about what you post. This book is rather upsetting though when you read about what happened to the victims. As a parent of a tween, it really bothered me. I would have liked for her to read it as a reminder about what kind of info she should never give out, but I think it was too scary for a 12 year old. But, then again, this book wasn't written for that age group, so as an adult, I recommend it.
This was a great book that kept me on the edge of my seat. As a fast paced book, the opening chapter landed me in the middle of the drama. It took me 3 days to read the book only because I had to finish my capstone project for a college class. Luckily I finished the project early so that I could finish reading this book. I highly recommend this book as well as other books by Terri Blackstock, especially the Suncoast Chronicles. I read that series years ago and have shared the books with many friends who have also enjoyed the series. Predator is a stand alone book that will stand alone in greatness.To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I must post that Zondervan has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book to review. I also must say that the opinions are all mine.
This book is nothing short of a rated R movie. What makes it "Christian"? I see nothing but violence on top of violence! There are No redeeming factors, there is No picture of our Awesome God. Just an endless detailed description of how the devil has taken the human race down a road to destruction. There is No feeling that the battle belongs to the Lord and he has overcome such evil! The discussion questions at the end of the book left me wondering how anyone could even think about the good qualities in this book. Did the characters rely on God at all? What woke me up in the night and weighted heavy on my heart was the vision of Megan (one of the victims) running for her life crying out in fear. She was not recovered from the violence done to her earlier in the book and No mention of her was given again!! Have we sunk so low as to even think that this is a Christian book? This book succeeds mightily in desensitizing us to the true horror and violence in this world. Why would we want to think about such things? How can this help us have compassion? In my opinion this is not a book that should even be sold by "Christian" businesses. Not one bit of it could lead a nonbeliever to Christ and His Love for us! My final thought that weighs heavy on my heart is that my 16 year old daughter grabbed this book and read it in two days, before I had the chance. How incredibly sad that she was exposed to such raw evil. It is my responsibility to guard her heart and tonight I find myself praying that she can recover from such an event. There is no reason a parent should be left with such a burden from a "Christian Book!"