Series: The Community: Book One
Author: Santino Hassell
Narrator: Greg Boudreaux
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Run Time: 8 hours and 58 minutes
Category: Urban Fantasy, Suspense/Thriller
At a Glance: What a journey! And that was just the beginning of it! Greg Boudreaux is amazing and so talented.
Reviewed By: Ky
Blurb: Growing up the outcast in an infamous family of psychics, Nate Black never learned how to control his empath abilities. Then after five years without contact, his estranged twin turns up dead in New York City. The claim of suicide doesn’t ring true, especially when a mysterious vision tells Nate it was murder. Now his long-hated gift is his only tool to investigate.
Hitching from his tiny Texas town, Nate is picked up by Trent, a gorgeous engineer who thrives on sarcasm and skepticism. The heat that sparks between them is instant and intense, and Nate ends up trusting Trent with his secrets – something he’s never done before. But once they arrive in the city, the secrets multiply when Nate discovers an underground supernatural community, more missing psychics, and frightening information about his own talent. Nate is left questioning his connection with Trent. Are their feelings real, or are they being propelled by abilities Nate didn’t realize he had?
His fear of his power grows, but Nate must overcome it to find his brother’s killer and trust himself with Trent’s heart.
Review: What a journey! And that was just the beginning of it!
Insight is the first installment in Santino Hassell’s series The Community. The MCs are different for each book, and here the story focuses on Nate, a psychic with very limited abilities, and Trent, a non-psychic person, or void, as they call them. The story is told entirely through Nate’s POV, and it was so interesting to see the world as he did. Due to his powers he was able to feel emotions from the people around him and get impressions from objects that were associated with significant events.
The story begins and we know pretty much nothing. Nate lives an empty life; he is lonely and miserable. He has a family he’s not close to and no friends at all. The event that sets everything in motion is Theo’s death. Theo was Nate’s twin brother, but they hadn’t spoken in years. Nate decides to go to New York, where Theo lived, to find out what really happened to his brother. The only way to get there is hitchhiking, so he gets picked up by Trent, a student driving from California to New York, and a connection forms between the two in the long hours till they reach their destination.
When Nate arrives in New York, he finds Evolution pretty quickly. It’s the place where his brother used to hang out, and it’s the place to start searching for answers. There is a secret Community in the city helping and connecting psychics, and Theo was involved with it. Now it’s Nate’s turn to try to figure out what’s going on, and to determine who of the secretive and weird people he meets are his friends and who are his enemies. In an effort to uncover the truth about Theo’s death, Nate stumbles upon a pattern of missing people, all psychics and all associated with Evolution. There is a chance that Nate is in danger too, if whoever is behind all that knows that Nate is trying to uncover it, so he has to tread carefully and find out what’s the truth and what’s a lie. His only steady ally is Trent.
I think it’s only a few weeks, if that, that Nate stays in New York, but during that time he builds a puzzle, and piece by piece the truth is revealed. As everything starts falling into place, a disturbing picture is forming.
Nate’s family, the Blacks, play a big role in the story, but Nate has no idea at the beginning what all the fuss is about. There are so many secrets in his family it’s like he grew up somewhere else. Still, eventually, he finds out the truth about everything, to his great horror. When everything that was going on within the Community came into the light, I was holding my breath wondering how it was possible for something so horrible to go on for so long without it being stopped.
The story is far from over, but at the end of the book Trent and Nate are solid as a couple, and they have their happy future ahead of them. The epilogue made it pretty clear that they are going to be present in the second book, at least, but we know that the main couple there is going to be another one.
I didn’t like Holden very much, but I think that’s how I was supposed to feel about him—in this book, anyway. I look forward to learning his story and finding out more about him and what makes him the way he is. The third book is Elijah and Chase’s story. I’m so looking forward to reading about those two! We learned a great deal about Chase here, and what he has gone through, and that makes me want to know even more about him and how he is able to cope with everything. Also, I’m very curious about the dynamic between those two and what really is going on between them.
I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Greg Boudreaux. I don’t do audiobooks very often, so it was the first time I crossed paths with this narrator, but he has quickly gained a new fan in me. He is truly amazing and so talented! The range of his voice, his ability to mimic foreign accents, his dedication to what is written so he can bring it to life, everything about his narration was amazing and perfect. That’s exactly how a book should be read! There could be a conversation between three or more people, and I was never confused as to who was speaking. I was always able to tell when the speaker had changed, even if their name wasn’t mentioned. His voice for Nate as well as Trent was very distinctive and very easily recognisable at any time. There was a point where a character was supposed to talk while eating, so his mouth was full, and Mr Boudreaux’s delivery was so realistic that I’m convinced he was actually eating something himself. In another scene, he pitched his voice higher while talking as a third character in order to make it sound as if that character was keeping in the smoke of a cigarette while talking. I can’t even imagine how he was able to change his voice to a higher pitch that still matched the voice he used for that third character. It was crazy and I loved every second of it! It was like watching a movie instead of listening to a story. I’m really amazed with the job the narrator did here, and I look forward to listening to more books from him.
You can buy Insight here: