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August 13, 2013

Review: The Never List by Koethi Zan

I picked up The Never List by Koethi Zan when I was reviewing It was just the kind of dark and twisted story that I love. The narrator, Kristen Sieh, was perfect. I loved her ability to give characters different accents.

Two girls who have taken every precaution to stay safe, finally want to live a "normal" life and have at least a little fun. Despite their precautions and possibly even against the statistics, they are kidnapped and held captive for 3 years. For the reader, the three years are told in flashbacks. The main story is Sarah's pursuit of finding her best friend's body and providing the evidence needed to keep their captor in prison.

The Never List grabbed me from the get-go. While the story is dark and has some very twisted characters, it is not overly graphic. The few details about their years in captivity are told unemotionally by the main character. If you could handle Room by Emma Donoghue (my review), then you can handle The Never List. 

Because of the flow of story and the wonderful narration by Kristen Sieh, I couldn't stop listening to The Never List. I had to know what happened. But after I finished the story (at 1 AM) I started to really think about the plot. A lot of threads weren't tied up. The reader is left with questions. Perhaps there will be follow up books. The ending left the possibility - either to continue Sarah's pursuit of uncovering the truth, or with learning more about Jennifer's story. If there's no follow-up, then these loose threads could be more plot holes. Like the couple at the club - were they plants or was it really coincidental they were there? And why did the woman get to leave, when it appears he already had a captive?

I work in academia and I found some of the "competiton" not to be believable. We get too many courses in research ethics and cautions to bias in our research for me to believe that so many of the professors would ignore some basic rules as to the conduct of human subject research. (I know that there have been and continues to be some researcher who cut corners, but the extent it was in The Never List just seems too great).

If you can lose yourself in a story and not question too deeply the elements of the plot, then The Never List is an excellent story for those wanting to explore the darker side of human nature. I rank this book up there with Still Missing by Chevy Stevens (my review), Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson (my review), and The First Victim by J. B. Lynn (my review) for dark, twisted stories that sucks you right in.

Buy The Never List at Amazon

Published July 2013 by Penguin Audio
ISBN13: 9781611761917
Listened: July 2013

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