Author: Auburn Seal
Genre: New Adult, Supernatural, Mystery
Publisher: Keys Publishing House
Publish Date: October 27, 2013
Recipe Variables: None
Series: The Vanishing Series
Avery Lane is driven to discover the fate of the 117 missing colonists of Roanoke. When she encounters a mysterious group called the Descendants, who are determined to keep the colony’s secret hidden, Avery must choose between her obsession for the past and her own survival. Will solving this mystery cost her everything? Is there more to this secret than what is buried at Roanoke? Haunted by visions of the past, she must find answers before the Descendants stop her and forever banish the truth.
In the anticipation of eating a homemade chocolate chip cookie, but still needing to suffer through the rigors of baking, I sometimes take shortcuts. For example, I don’t bother with separating the dry goods from the liquids; I just dump them all in together. No one is the wiser until biting into the baked goodness. Make no mistake, I wolf down at least five before I pause and think, “Hmmm, this could have been a luscious masterpiece if I just would have slowed down and followed the directions. That’s how I felt after reading Roanoke Vanishing. The concept was fabulous, the story line solid, but the end results…meh.
The core drawback happens with the main character, Avery Lane. She’s unlikeable…and not in a cool, Walter White/Dexter Morgan kind of way. The opening sequence has her being dumped by her long-time boyfriend, and by the end of the story, I understood why. The author, Auburn Seal, paints Avery as a tenacious, stubborn, head-strong gal—which I like—but she is completely compartmentalized—robotic—in her emotional development. She has little to no regard for her own feelings, let alone for others’. For example, her boyfriend of five years breaks it off? No problem, she goes for a run, has a coffee with Jen, the bestie (where Avery spends most of her time talking about her college thesis), and is over it because he’s a jerk. Spoiler! Her bestie is shot? No worries, she walks out of the hospital (while said bestie is fighting for her life on the operating table), continues her research, and solves the mystery because…well, it apparently can’t wait until BFF is conscious. The lapses in transitions between time sequences, scene shifts, and character interaction have major fault lines, directly impacting all the character and their motivations.
The blend of history, suspense, and mystery are enough to push through the read and arrive at an adequate conclusion. However, following the instructions on the recipe would have made a more appetizing morsel as the end result.