Monday, July 28, 2014


PRECOG IN PERIL by Theo Fenraven

Pages: 342
Date: 28/07/2014
Grade: 5+
Details: Previously published as three books
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

Gray Vecello meets Cooper Key, and the adventure of a lifetime begins as they explore the river on the houseboat Gray’s grandfather left him in his will. Along the way, they will meet new friends and dangerous enemies. 

Three of Swords: An old houseboat, a hot young guy, a couple of murders, and more mysterious keys than you can shake a stick at: it's an adventure Gray Vecello and Cooper Key will never forget. Gray has the sight, just as Graham had, but will it be enough to save them both? 

Knight of Wands: Gray Vecello and Cooper Key are back in the exciting sequel to Three of Swords. Graham's treasure is only the tip of the iceberg as a thief helps himself to a hidden stash of cash, Jolly Roger makes another appearance, and the guys finally meet others with special abilities when an emergency meeting of the group is called. 

Accompanying them on this new adventure is Gray's cousin, Harper, who's having problems of her own. Peace and quiet will have to wait as they take another trip downriver on their houseboat, The Constant Companion, before flying to New York City to beard a lion in his den and unexpectedly meet the SOS. 

The Lightning Struck Tower: Gray Vecello and Cooper Key are back in the last book in the Precog in Peril series. Snatched by PsiOps, a covert arm of the government, they’re offered training in exchange for their psionic help. Will they take the deal, and if they don't, what will PsiOps do to them? 

Gray and Cooper meet new friends and enemies in this final chapter in the trilogy. The story takes the reader from New York City to Ely, Minnesota, and back to Gray and Cooper's marina in Red Wing, where they will face the ultimate test of their powers. Someone will live... and someone will die.


My thoughts:

“The cards had shown me my future. Time to grab it around the throat and strangle it into submission.”

People following my reviews will know that I’m in love with Theo Fenraven’s words. I fell hard and fast when I read Blue River, the love grew when I devoured Transgression and solidified while I enjoyed Wolf Bound and Lavender Rose.

I love an author who can lift me out of my daily life and drop me in another world. It is even better when that other world becomes my reality while I’m reading, even when the subject matter is otherworldly. This author manages that trick every single time.

Each book by Mr. Fenraven I’ve read so far has been unique. He doesn’t write according to a formula. Every story is a completely new adventure of discovery for the reader, as I imagine it must have been for the author too.

Each and every book by this author has also left me impressed with and envious of his ability to use words to their best advantage. Where others need a paragraph he can convey the message in a sentence or two. Not a single word is superfluous, and most of them are exquisitely beautiful. The dialogue sounds true and sparkles and descriptions leave the reader with a clear picture of what they are looking at.

“Watching him, I felt longing bloom in my belly... or maybe it was flowering lower down.”

There is a lot going on in this book. This is one of the sweetest love stories I’ve ever read. Cooper and Gray are beyond beautiful together. Their love for each other, the way the worry about the others health and happiness and the interaction between them kept an almost constant smile on my face.

But there is so much more. The paranormal angle is thrilling yet plausible. Gray initial reluctance to accept his abilities and his slow journey towards learning more about and eventually embracing them, made it feel like something that could happen to any of us.

And finally there are the mysteries. Who killed Graham and the Crystal Lady? Who is after Gray and Cooper and why? And most vitally, how far do Gray’s powers really reach and will he be able to fully embrace and utilise them when it is literally a matter of life and death?

There isn’t a boring moment in this book. The sweet, tender and on several occasions scorching hot love between the two main characters will have you smiling.

“That night I found out how ticklish he was.”

The tension, resulting from the mysteries and dangers the characters face as much as Gray’s fear of and reluctance to use his ability keeps you on the edge of your seat.

“My nerves were stretched so tight, Cooper could have played an adagio in D flat on me with his violin bow.”

Cooper has to be one of the sweetest characters I’ve ever read. And before you think that makes him sound boring, let me reassure you. Cooper was also one of the most fascinating characters ever. Because we see him through Gray’s eyes we get a real opportunity to appreciate his kindness. While his role is to protect Gray from psychic attacks, the younger man is protective of his older lover in every possible way. For personal reasons I loved how we changed their diet in the hope of helping Gray’s IBS.

The cliffhangers at the end of the first two parts of this story would have killed me if it hadn’t been for the fact I had the sequels ready and waiting. If I’d had to wait months for the revelations I would have uttered one or two obscenities.

From my description so far you may have gotten the impression that this is a sweet romance come paranormal tale of suspense. And you’d be right. However it is so much more. Theo Fenraven manages to open our eyes to things we know but prefer not to think about in the most gentle of ways regardless of the shocking nature of the revelations. These tales aren’t told for their shock value – although they do shock – they are here to make the reader aware of what’s happening in this world to kids who are different from ‘the norm’. It is a wake-up call delivered in the most beautiful of words.

Your heart gets broken early on in the book when you learn about Cooper’s past and the way his parents treated him when he came out. You think it can’t possibly get any worse and then you meet Wade, and hear the ordeal this character had to go through at the hands of their father and find yourself in the middle of a battle between despair and pure hate. Knowing this is fiction doesn’t make it any easier. The author may have invented this character, he didn’t invent the situation. It happens. Kids are living those nightmares and the world looks away, not wanting to know.

I started this review by confessing to my love affair with Theo Fenraven’s words. This book deepened that love. I know this author has found a fan for life in me. It’s about time the rest of the world woke up to the beauty they’re missing out on.

While something tells me it’s unlikely, I can’t help hoping these characters will start talking to their creator again one day soon. I would love to spend more time with Cooper and Gray.

I’ll end this review with a quote that states what has been my motto for the past 15 years or so. Cooper and my reasons for adopting the attitude may have been different; the result is the same; a better and less stressful life.

“I decided I would be as positive about life as possible. It made things easier for me.”

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