Cover Image: The Art of Fear

The Art of Fear

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Member Reviews

A suspenseful story told through use of different voices and perspectives that give an eye to the seedier side of life.  This book 1 in a series and I am looking forward to reading book two.
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THE ART OF FEAR somehow manages to be pitch black dark but with moments that make me smile and laugh here and there. 
This book gave me similar feelings as THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN by Dot Hutchison. The storylines are completely different, but they both show that no matter how dark life can get you can still find light in bonding with the right people. 
This book literally gave me all the feels-sadness, shock, joy, anger... you name it, I felt it. 
I absolutely cannot wait to read the second installment in this series and see where the story goes next.
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My search for a exemplary thriller continues it seems because, believe me, The Art of Fear wasn’t anything close to one. Instead it was plagued with the usual markers of the bad seeds of the genre (or maybe just the usual markers of bad writing) - subpar writing and unrealistic dialogue, far too many nonsensical time skips and changes in perspectives. Why is it that so many thriller writer constantly insist on inserting half-pages of these that have little effect on the actual plot? As soon as the first time skip/perspective change (of far too many) appears, I already know that I am not going to like the book. 
I think it is because that when people think of the genre, they expect the reader to want to be confused. But you can’t enjoy confusion without intrigue, or scenes that make any sort of sense. 
I think that my growing issue with the mystery-thriller genre is that, when they’re good, they’re this-is-one-of-my-new-favourite-books fantastic but, when they’re bad, they’re just atrocious and honestly, there is no in-between.
The Art of Fear, rather obviously, falls into the second.
If the unnecessary time-skips/perspective changes weren’t bad enough, the character choices hit the final nail in the coffin of my enjoyment. The protagonists of our tale, Ari and Tina, make decisions and react in ways that no real-life person would; although the most obvious example of this goes to Ari’s mother who jumps in seconds from seeing her youngest daughter killed by a hit and run, to blaming Ari (who is only a few years older and just a child herself) for the young girl’s death and even going so far as telling the police that she saw her push her sister in front of the car. 
I mean, seriously?
What kind of mother, outside a novel such as this, would ever chose those actions as an obvious next step to the incident? Even in grief, I can’t imagine a mother that would.
The Art of Fear is not a reading experience that I will remember for long and honestly, I am so happy that that will be the case. Oh well, onto the next, I suppose. Let’s hope that one is better.
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This review is also posted in my blog :

Thank you to Tabella House and Net Galley for a free copy of this book in trade for an honest review.

This is an enjoyable read, something that you could read on a rainy day with a cup of coffee. I will classified this as a psychological thriller, not just a crime and mystery genre. It’s an exciting read with the words flowing with like poetry. The story is told from each character point of view. It makes the story interesting to read since each character had their own story and background. From the beginning we were introduced about the theme of the book: death.

The story has some twist around the corner. Every time something is come to light, then things change. The truth is revealed little by little. Everybody has a secret and I was left on the edge of my seat trying to figure out who is the killer. The killing feels intimate. But the events that leads to the killing that feels a bit harsh. 

There’s also some reference to the human trafficking problem. Parents who sell their children for lies and a bunch of cash. This is a sad truth that our world is facing right now. Tina is pictured as the victim of human trafficking and somehow her past is tied to Ari Wilburn. The way the story of each character entwined between each other feels naturally possible, although there are times it’s quite far-fetched, but in general it’s possible.

Characters are a mixture between strong and weak. Weak in the meaning of attitude, unwilling to fight, to just give up on the situation. Tina and her brother fall into this category. Ari Wilburn on the other hand as the main character has a strong attitude. Although she falls into the temptation of suicide, but it’s her guilt that drives her to do it. The parents in this story come out quite bad: selfish, self centered, willing to sacrifice their children for their own purpose. It’s a knock on the door, a self reminder to each parent who read this story: don’t make your children pay for what you’ve done. Don’t use them as tool to satisfy your needs.

I like the ending where Ari Wilburn story will continue in the next series. I will be expecting to read another book from this series. The first chapters by the end of the book look promising.

Recommend for those who love psychological thriller, a fast paced read with surprises along the way and a bitter story of family love.
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I was literally blown away with the intense start of The Art Of Fear. What a way to start a story! It was hook, line, sinker and I quickly cleared out my schedule to be able to read this one without distractions... Sadly, this enthusiasm for the story didn't stay. After such an intense, dark and thrilling start, I was actually a bit disappointed by the fact that The Art Of Fear didn't turn out to be as fast-paced as I would have liked. Sure, there will be some very messed up twists and details thrown at you, but in general somehow the plot and pace just didn't manage to convince me. The multiple POVs and flashbacks probably had a lot to do with the slower pace and lack of connection to the story. And honestly, I was surprised to find myself not invested at all in who would be behind it all. Also, trigger warnings are in place for rape, abuse, suicide and violence in general! The writing style did make it quite easy to read, and I really liked the inclusion of the Mexican bits. But as for the characters... I felt there were too much of them, making it harder to connect to them and I honestly I don't think I ever did. Most of the characters are broken and have a lot of potential; there is no doubt they are intriguing, but not being able to connect to them made me feel less invested in the story. I could have done without the romance as well; it went so well during a lot of time I was already getting my hopes up I would be spared this time, but no luck. I'm not sure what to think of the ending either... Although I guess it shows potential for the sequel. The Art Of Fear is by no means a bad read, but unfortunately it didn't manage to convince me either.
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"If you go poking around in shadows, you'll find darkness."

Ari was ten years old when she was held responsible for her little sister's death. Tina (Sophia) was sold into sex slavery by her parents when she was 6. These two young women meet at a suicide support group, bond, and start looking for answers to explain their miserable lives. Although complete amateurs at the investigation business, they somehow find out more than expected and track down the different parties as it seems that there is a connection between events that happened over fourteen years ago.

Despite the need to completely suspend my disbelief in the action and plot, and never mind that the characters were flat and stereotypical, I moved through this rapidly. I really didn't like any of the characters in the book and the coincidences were often just too extreme. Ari and Tina are supposed to be two tough chicks who'd survived really hard times (and yeah, I am sure the sex slavery was total horror and sometimes I can't even stand to think about it much less read about it), but I just couldn't buy into Ari's personality. The romance that blossomed with Tristan was...well, most know how I feel about romance in these thrillers...but how convenient that his job proves so HELPFUL to Ari right?
No spoilers, but the ending shows that Ari is moving forward into a new direction -- no longer a retail sales clerk after her stellar investigating techniques -- finding out stuff that defied all the efforts of previous law enforcement types.

Although this was OK, I don't know that I'd invest the time in another of this series. I didn't like the interaction between the characters, the dialogue or the need to be so incredulous at outcomes. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Tabella House for the e-book ARC to read and review.
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It all started with a young girl. A sweetly innocent face. But her eyes told me another story. This little girl had been sold by her parents to make ends meet, but they never knew where she went or if they'd ever see her again. Perhaps they didn't care.

During my time in Thailand I had heard many stories about this happening, but the most shocking thing about this girl's story is that this happened in America, the land of the free and brave. But she was not free, though she was certainly brave. She eventually had a happy ending when a neighbor noticed bruises one day beneath her outgrown, raggedy clothes, and when social services got involved, the details of her plight unraveled and she was rescued. Though her scars will forever bind her.

Her story led me into an endless array of emotions, and finally I decided to pour those feelings onto the page. It's partly that little girl's story, but mostly the story of one woman's fierce hunger for justice, for salvation from the evil that lurks out there, for embracing who she is meant to be, flaws and all.

I hope my readers enjoy the book and quench their thirst for a thrilling tale while connecting with characters I put a lot of heart into.
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