As a reluctant student at Harrington High's summer school, Chris meets a fun-loving senior girl who offers a welcome diversion from Chris's past. Soon Chris no longer searches for the truth about the town of Solitary. He no longer tries to pierce its shadows. He no longer questions his role in its mysteries. He makes a new choice: he runs. What he doesn't realize is that he's running the wrong way-and is very close to being beyond any choices at all.
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Chris Buckley has been struggling with a lot of issues since he and his mother moved to Solitary. That's just what seems to happen to when you move here. You find yourself a bit isolated from everyone else. It's hard enough trying to fit in and when you finally make friends, something happens so them. They move away. They disappear. Or they are murdered.
Chris attempts to come to terms with what has been happening in this town, and once again he finds he is alone. Aside from a small black dog named Midnight, Chris wrestles with the inner demons inside himself. Those that constantly blame him for things that have gone wrong. That as a sixteen-year-old boy he should have been able to put a stop to things in Solitary. But he's being watched. Every single thing he does, he's being watched. He still can't trust anyone in town and he's afraid more than ever to make friends. So when faced with dealing with spending the summer once again back in school at Harrington High, he tries to make the best of it by keeping to himself. With only a few other people in his summer school class and a teacher that wants to be anywhere but here, Chris finds himself digging a bit deeper into the darkness surrounding the town.
This time he attempts to confront Pastor Jeremiah Marsh who promises him anything his heart truly desires if he is willing to seek answers with him. It seems like Chris is the only one centered around the dark happenings in this strange town where secret buried tunnels beneath the town and people who can't die have something to hide. Will Chris face his greatest temptation in facing the darkness head on or will he become part of what the town is trying to hide?
In the third book in the Solitary Tales series by Travis Thrasher, Temptation looks at what happens when I believe you're pushed to the end of your proverbial rope and sanity at the same time. You begin to question what is real and what isn't. What is worth a risk and what isn't and it's at this stage that Chris is finally facing his darkest fears and those that seem to have the answers he seeks. But once again, those that move in to become his allies, are they just playing him for their own purposes or do they truly have good intentions at helping Chris finally get to the bottom of the darkness and evil that thrives in the town of Solitary?
I received Temptation by Travis Thrasher compliments of David C. Cook Publishers and Net Galley for my honest review and have to say, when you pick up anything by Travis Thrasher you are instantly hooked in the world he creates for his readers. It borders on the darkest places in our minds and show the reader just where the true spiritual battles are fought, in our minds! I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and now, can't wait for book 4 due out next year. For those of you who have never read a book by Travis Thrasher, think Stephen King, but with a Christian twist you don't see coming!!
Chris Buckley and his mother moved to Solitary, North Carolina after his parents separated over the issue of his father’s faith. After months of pressure, Chris just shuts down. Forces to attend summer school, he believes that he is stuck when Lilly walks through the door. Then when she notices him, his angst turns to joy and he forces all the scary things out of his mind and focuses solely on Lilly. After his mother tries to commit suicide while on a drinking binge, Chris believes that he is on his own with total freedom. Behind the scenes, though, manipulation increases forcing him to open his eyes.
In this third installment to Thrasher’s Solitary Tales, the mood lifts a little as Chris finds a new girl, but the level of evil increases. The surprises continue keeping the reader locked into the series. Still a good bet for anyone looking at the horror, suspense genre with the added benefit of a Christian slant and no blatant profanity or sex scenes.
Poor Chris. In the short seven months since he and his mother moved to Solitary North Carolina, he's encountered failure and loss, grief and anger, unanswered questions and mystery, lies and betrayal, horror and the supernatural. And now, a kid who could definitely use a vacation from it all is forced to attend summer school. Such fertile soil for sowing seeds of TEMPTATION. His will and spirit now broken, Chris's hopelessness and inadequacy against the dark forces at work in this town change his resolve to give in and be left alone, to fit in and get what he can, to start acting like the teenager he is; becoming what those close to him have been telling him all along that he isn't. Helping him on the path of shunning the old is an acceptance toward those who've been bringing the chaos to Solitary and a beautiful new student, Lily. In this third book of the Solitary Tales, a series known for its suspense and horror, we get what we came back for though presented differently from what we’re accustomed to. Each book has had its own flavor, and in a Fictionaddict.com interview, Travis told listeners that this book would take on a different point of view which has been realized through the darker outlook Chris now has. Through sunglasses tinted with angst, old characters are shunned, new characters are taken in physically as opposed to emotionally, and many of the darker incidents are viewed callously and matter of fact. But by no means does this softening make it a less enjoyable story. TEMPTATION is arguably the most important book in the series so far, bridging the gap between fear and courage, inadequacy and hope, ineptitude and strength. This is where discovery and answers turn Chris to action. Yes, answers! While not everything gets revealed here, there are some very satisfying conclusions to some of the questions raised in SOLITARY and GRAVESTONE, and while most of these answers are revealed through dialog, astute readers may find stand-out symbolism in this book worth looking into on their own. I found the inclusion of this interactivity to be an exciting aspect of the book, giving me chills at times even as it offered a little deeper insight into the roles of some of the characters and the goings on. For me, this series has been a remarkable page-turning find that I can't get enough of. From characters that grab your heartstrings to horrors and suspense that makes putting the book down impossible, this series has it all. While SOLITARY had my heart shaking an angry fist at Travis, and in GRAVESTONE that same fist was up stifling a shocked gasp, here in TEMPTATION it was fist-pumping an excited cheer of satisfaction and hope that will carry me to the anticipated release of HURT in 2013.
Yet another great read from Travis Thrasher. The latest installment in the Solitary Tales is great. Now I will be honest, I haven't had a chance to read the first books in the series, but it wasn't hard to keep up and know what's happened previously. In Temptation, Chris starts to run away from his problems and the troubles that have plagued him. But running is the worst thing he could be doing. When Chris thinks he's finally found a way to live a "normal" life, it turns out that everything turns out to be a lie. With his life no about to go out of control, is there anyone he can turn to for help and answers? Or is he all alone? With more questions than answers, Chris resolves to set things right and find out what exactly is going on in the town of Solitary and starts to fight not only for his family, but for his very soul. Any fan of Thrasher's previous work like I am will find this book up to par with his previous releases. Although aimed at a teen audience, readers of any age will enjoy this book. It leaves you wanting more and not wanting to wait for the 4th book in the series.
What would you do if your search for the truth meant that those important to you ended up disappearing or hurt because of their connection to you? What would you do if your mom kept descending deeper and deeper into the haze of alcohol? What if there seemed to be no purpose in fighting the evil threatening to overtake you?
These are questions Chris Buckley is running from in book three of the Solitary Tales. Sentenced to summer school for no conceivable reason, Chris is soon side-tracked by a gorgeous senior girl who offers him an escape from his struggles. Chris suddenly finds himself facing temptations to lose himself in new friendships, in parties and drinking, and in all-consuming thoughts of the possibility of having sex for the first time. However, when events in his life spiral out of his control, he finds he must decide whether he will embrace the darkness of evil or submit to the Light.
Thrasher's third installment in the Solitary Tales echoes the hopelessness of today's teen culture. What's the point in believing in something beyond yourself, beyond doing what feels good? Why not just lose yourself in the pursuit of fun and pleasure and doing what's right in your own eyes? And yet it also exposes this thinking for what it is - utter lies. And it does so in a highly entertaining, imaginative, and at times creepy manner. If you haven't yet found yourself endeared to Chris Buckley, then you may not want to pick up this book. But if you already feel like taking Chris home and giving him a normal life, if he already seems to be the face of a searching teen in your own life, then you will love this installment with it's darkness, it's questioning, and it's hope. Thrasher has created a character that will long live in my memory.
As with previous novels in the series, the pacing is once again spot on, and as more and more answers emerge as to what on earth is going on in the town of Solitary, you will find yourself hooked even further and desperate for the last book in the series.
I once again find myself highly recommending the latest book from Travis Thrasher, and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. I can't wait for the final book, Hurt, coming out September 1, 2012.
An egalley of this book has been provided courtesy of the publisher for the purposes of this unbiased review.