Monday, April 20, 2015

Book Review: Never (J. Grace Pennington)

When his younger brother is accused of a murder he's sure he didn't commit, Ross Hamilton goes to great lengths to prove Travis' innocence, even when Travis himself isn't convinced he's innocent. But the brother find that things are a lot bigger than they first thought.

In Never, Miss Pennington takes a western setting and instead of packing it with lots of action and adventure, she turns it into a mystery. No one can be trusted, and anyone could have secrets. The mystery in the book is done well, keeping readers guessing up until the end.

The ending for me seemed confusing, and I wasn't entirely sure as to the role some of the characters had in the story. But I can say I did not expect the ending to be as it was, which was a pleasant surprise.

Travis, one of the main characters is an interesting MC. He's not used to hard labor, and when he's sent to do very heavy work, it's quick to affect him and wear him down. He's not used to seeing violence, either, and this combination makes him a rather calm and peaceful person thrown into a situation where calm and peaceful just won't cut it. It may sound terrible, but I enjoyed watching his struggle with the extreme hardships, and watching as he tried to adapt to his new environment while also never giving in to one character's offer for safety and comfort.

Never's message was very well conveyed through each brother. Never giving up on or compromising your beliefs for the sake of safety or comfort, even when it means suffering through exhaustion or pain. Both Travis and Ross face instances of temptation, but they refuse to make it easy, even when the struggle to say "never" is the hardest thing they've ever had to do.

Here are the areas, as with any book review I've done, where you (or your parents) might have questions. I have tried to include anything you or parents may want to be aware of without spoiling anything. Hopefully I have given enough information in each area without giving away anything (especially in a mystery). But if I seem to have spoiled any major plot points (in this review or in any others), please do let me know so I can change it.

Violence/gore: There are some fights among characters, but it's not graphic or overly violent at all. A few characters are shot, there is at least one murder, and one character is whipped.

Profanity: A few small references to cursing.

Sexual content: None.

Other: References to drinking liquor. Theft happens in the mines.

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