Title: The Visionary
Author: Charli Coty
Publisher: NineStar Press
Length: 156 Pages
At a Glance: In the end, The Visionary fell way short of complete and left more unanswered questions than satisfaction.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Colin Page, eighteen-year-old community college student, apple polisher and all-around goody-goody, has a secret. He sees things that aren’t there. Unfortunately, the Doc Martens on the floor of the mail vestibule in his apartment building really are there and attached to a dead body. Hunkered over the body is someone Colin had barely noticed before, Private Investigator Al Green. Most people scare Colin, but for some reason, Al doesn’t, even after he reveals that he knows about the hidden reality of their world.
Alonzo Green, despite his low-power mind, is determined to help right the wrongs he unknowingly contributed to. He’s also hopelessly smitten. He knows it’s wrong—probably even dangerous—to enlist Colin’s help with the investigation. And that’s before considering all Al has to fear from Colin’s fiercely protective and powerful mother.
Colin and Al put some of the pieces together, but as soon as one thing becomes clear, the picture changes. The search for the Big Bad takes them from Portland to Tacoma and Seattle, and eventually to San Francisco, but their journey into each other’s arms is much shorter.
Review: Colin sees things others don’t—not only that, but he has other abilities that he hasn’t even scratched the surface of—yet. When he meets Alonzo, a private detective who lives in the same building, he knows there is something there between them, and it’s more than the dead body in the lobby. So begins a dark and twisted adventure that will lead Colin and Alonzo through a series of near death experiences, facing not one but three different adversaries. Using his powers to push back against the evil only goes so far when Colin is up against an unknown. When he and Alonzo finally figure out who the real “big bad” is, it not only comes as a shock but also means Colin may lose himself completely if he is not careful. Alonzo will do anything to keep Colin safe—even sacrifice himself—which, in the end, may be the only thing that keeps Colin alive.
I wish I could tell you it was a fairly easy or straightforward journey in getting through that synopsis above, but unfortunately, that would be rather untruthful. Perhaps it was me. Perhaps I couldn’t handle the fact that for roughly fifty-percent, or more, of this story I had no clue as to what exactly Colin was, what his powers were, or how he and Alonzo fit together other than through their mutual lust. Yes, there was a love connection, eventually, and it was lovely to read about the rare times it was allowed to take the lead, but it was hampered by a constant stream of half told stories that deepened the confusion rather than shed light on what exactly I was to focus on.
I still can’t exactly tell you what Colin was—I guess he was a Visionary but what all that entails ability-wise is still unclear to me. I also wish I could tell you that I fully understood the term “Natural” other than the fact that Alonzo was one—but again, it’s all still very murky. There were too many attacks on the pair of heroes and not near enough explanation as to what it was that they were actually fighting. It’s as if this was an outline for a novel that had terrific potential, but not one of the many plot points got fully fleshed out, or even near enough page time, to have them make a great deal of sense. There were so many dangling pieces that, to be frank, I just wanted the story to end and stop wasting my time with yet another mystery that never really got solved.
What I can tell you is that I really liked Alonzo, although I felt most of the people who claimed to care about him used him for information and/or to do jobs others didn’t want to do. He obviously loved Colin a great deal, and those rare moments when he wasn’t being influenced by someone with powers greater than his meager bit, he was a strong and loving partner. I’m not really sure I ever got to know exactly who, let alone what, Colin was, and he was more of a side character for me rather than the person who this story was meant to be about. I wish I could have understood him better—again perhaps it was just my failing to get what this author was trying to achieve, but I don’t think so. I believe that the bare bones of a good story lurked in the unfinished product that became The Visionary. Had there just been more attention to detail and a bit more clarification about this race of paranormal beings author Charli Coty was trying to create, I think this review would have been much different.
In the end, The Visionary fell way short of complete and left more unanswered questions than satisfaction. Such a shame, really, for I think this author has great potential if restraint can be achieved and story mapping takes the driver’s seat in the next novel.
You can buy The Visionary here: