Zoe Johnson spent most of her life living in the shadows, never drawing attention to herself, never investing in people or places. But when a wide-eyed, bedraggled teenager with no memory walks into the diner where Zoe works, everything changes. Now, against her better judgment, Zoe, who has been trying to outrun her own painful memories of the past, finds herself attempting to help a girl who doesn’t seem to have any past at all. The girl knows only one thing: she must reach a woman in Corpus Christi, Texas, hundreds of miles away, before the government agents who are searching for her catch up to them.
Award-winning author Rachelle Dekker throws you into the middle of the action and keeps the pressure on in this page-turning story that, asks Are we who the world says we are–or can we change our story and be something more?
I was going to start this review by asking you to imagine that you were sat in the cinema but during these times of lockdown, I shall ask instead to imagine you were sat on you sofa, at home watching Netflix! Ok, here we go, and action! No preamble, no quiet introduction of characters, just two young women running through a forest, bullets whizzing past them as a hoard of men chased them. And this was pretty much the whole tone of Dekker’s novel, Nine. There were the odd breathing spaces, but not many as she ramped up the action and more importantly the tension and the drama. For me, it was nail biting stuff and it didn’t take me long to read the whole novel so eager was I to find out what happened.
I loved the characters, Zoe and Lucy, both with a whole lot of baggage and troubles that somehow melded them together, made them a force to be reckoned with. Zoe, waitress, loner, drifter, a past you weren’t quite sure about, but knew it shaped her present and her future.
Lucy, an oddity, definitely not your average young women, on the run and pushed under the caring wing of Zoe. It wasn’t until the story unfolded that you began to understand exactly what Lucy was, yes she was a human but a human experiment, one whose memory had been locked, that held secrets the most powerful in the land would kill to obtain.
Zoe and Lucy’s relationship were a real asset in the novel, one that Dekker used to brilliant effect. They were good for each other as Zoe brought out the human qualities in Lucy that she lacked, and Zoe in turn found a friend, one who didn’t ask of anything and filled a hole that seemed to have been missing for so long.
There wasn’t too much time for niceties before authority in the form of FBI agent Tom Seeley caught up with them. Here was a man you weren’t quite sure about as he appeared to help them, yet Dekker sewed a few seeds of doubt as you waited for something to happen. When that ‘something’ happened Dekker pulled out all the stops as the narrative picked up pace and hurtled Zoe and Lucy into even more danger.
You were insure who would emerge intact, and what the future might look like for Zoe and Lucy. What we did know was that Dekker left the novel very much open ended and I got the feeling that maybe another book may be on its way.
I, for one would very much welcome another installment and a return to the rapid, dramatic tense narrative and action with a huge chunk of humanity thrown in.
I would like to thank Revell Books for a copy of Nine to read and review and to Love Books Group for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.
About the author
Rachelle Dekker is the Christy Award-winning author of The Choosing, The Calling, and The Returning in the Seer series. The oldest daughter of New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker and coauthor with him of The Girl behind the Red Rope, Rachelle was inspired early on to discover truth through the avenue of storytelling. She writes full-time from her home in Nashville, where she lives with her husband, Daniel, and their son, Jack. Connect with Rachelle at www.rachelledekker.com.