Cover Image: Release

Release

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Member Reviews

This book just wasn't for me I couldn't follow, maybe if I'd read the other book stolen first I would understand it better but I found the dual timelines very confusing but I can see that other people would love this it just wasn't my cup of tea. Thank you netgalley and text publishing for this ARC. #netgalley #release
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Enjoyably fresh take on the genre of psychological suspense. Gemma is kidnapped and taken to a remote desert camp by an infatuated Tyler. Gemma escapes to safety and Tyler is sent to prison. Upon his release Gemma takes matters into her own hands to exact revenge on the person who harmed her.

What makes this novel unique is the feelings they obviously still have for each other, after 10 years apart. His obsession has become hers, as they return to the desert to explore the damage they have done to each other.

The dual Narratives at play here are also well done. We drift from courtroom drama to desert thriller action, and it works very effectively.

I was not aware of Lucy Christopher's previous book Stolen, to which this is a companion piece, and deals with the original abduction. It is not required reading to enjoy this story, although I do plan to go back and read it. A well-paced and surprising read.
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Could not get into this book.  Apologies.  I am sure some people will, and will enjoy this writing style but it was not for me.
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Release is the sequel to Australian author Lucy Christopher’s YA novel, Stolen. Ten years after sixteen-year-old Gemma Toombs was abducted from Bangkok Airport and held for some months in the West Australian desert by Tyler MacFarlane, she is living in London as Kate Stone. 

She works from home for an online travel agency, tries to be independent from her (overprotective?) mother, feeds and watches a vixen in her yard, and swims regularly as a release from her conflicted thoughts and emotions. 

She still sees her therapist, but lately is less honest about her thoughts and feelings, especially those about Ty. When she is officially notified of Ty’s pending early release, she burns bridges with her fledgling romantic relationship and finds herself making plans of which she is certain her mother will not approve. 

Back in Perth, mere days before Ty’s release, Kate is making preparations for a role reversal which can hardly end well, and later sees her before the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

This is one of those novels that feels a bit like a train wreck happening before your eyes and you just can’t look away: with each step Kate takes, and each rationalisation of her actions, the effect of her ordeal on her mental health becomes more apparent. 

“These days I’m finding it harder to tell what you might like. You’re still there in my head, of course – you’ve been part of me for so long, and I have such a sense of loyalty – but something is shifting inside. Because what if this is it, and you really are gone?”

The story is told by Kate in a dual timeline first-person narrative addressed to Ty MacFarlane. The Perth courtroom scenes are interspersed with the story of Kate’s return to Western Australia,   their journey to the place where Ty held her a decade previous, and the events that follow.

While this volume can probably stand alone, readers who have not read Stolen may find the lack of prior knowledge about Gemma’s ordeal frustrating. Kate is not an entirely reliable narrator and not all readers will appreciate the ambiguity of the ending. A dark and powerful read.
This unbiased review is from an unsolicited copy provided by Text Publishing.
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Release is a very compelling novel. I didn't intend to finish it in one sitting, but once I started reading I was unable to stop. The switch between the flashbacks and the current events in court kept me wanting more and made me read the whole thing in a couple of hours. At first I wasn't sure what I thought about it and whether I liked it or not. This is definitely the type of book that needs some time to process and really sink in. I first read Stolen as a young teenager and have been waiting on a sequel ever since, so I had about 10 years of my own own fantasies and ideas about what the sequel would be like. Release was not the story I expected it to be, but it's a very fitting adult sequel to a young adult book. The characters have changed a lot and especially Gemma has a more mature gaze about what happend to her in the events of the first novel. 
My only 'gripe' with the story is Ty's sister, who kind of seemed to pop up out of nowhere. I'd also hoped for a bit more discussions between Ty and Gemma, as there still seemed to be a lot of unsolved feelings. 
But all in all I really enjoyed this and definitely intend to read it again, 4.5 stars.
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Release by Lucy Christopher is an unusual psychological thriller.

Gemma Toombs changes her name to Kate Stone to escape her past but the truth is she has never let go of her past. Having been kidnapped at the age of 16 by a 27 year old man named Tyler MacFarlane and taken to a remote location in the desert area of Western Australian she has been described as having Stockholm  Syndrome. While Tyler has been in prison for 10 years he is about to be released from the prison near Perth. Kate/Gemma is living in England working as an online travel agent but decides she needs to confront him and her past.

Gripping and suspenseful story with weird twists and traumatic turns! Despite the story being quite brutal at times it is beautifully written with captivating descriptions of locations. Lucy Christopher writes with intensity and clarity.

I hadn’t realised that Release was the second book in this series until after I had finished reading it. In hindsight it would have been better to read Stolen first as this is obviously what had happened leading to this story 10 years later. I enjoyed the characters and the story as well as the writing style of Lucy Christopher so I certainly will look into reading Stolen.

Highly recommended read.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher Text Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Wow. This book was incredible
Delve into the deranged mind of Gemma, who was a kidnap victim and is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. This is dark and deranged and absolutely unique in the psychological thrillers genre. Highly recommended for fans of dark, twisted and downright creepy books. Xx
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Ten years ago, sixteen-year-old Gemma Toombs was kidnapped from Bangkok Airport by an infatuated drifter, Tyler MacFarlane, who took her to a secret den in the Australian desert.
Now her name is Kate Stone and it’s her turn to confront Ty and try to find answers to the questions that have obsessed her since her ordeal. What is the legacy of this coercive relationship? Who holds the cards now… Great characters, great storyline. I kept turning the pages instead of turning off the light!
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Thank you Netgalley and publisher for the ARC. 

‘Stolen’ by Lucy Christopher is one of my all-time favourite novels and I have anticipated the sequel ‘Release’ for many years. I was not disappointed by this follow-up novel and finished reading it in one sitting. 

Christopher’s writing has such a beautiful and authentic quality. There is never a dull moment in this book because each page is fast paced yet thought-provoking. Christopher knows how to tug on readers' heartstrings and make them experience a vast range of emotions. Her writing structure is brilliant and makes readers question themselves over and over again. I was absolutely immersed in her writing style from the beginning right until the very end. 

Revisiting Gemma, Ty and the Australian desert was both nostalgic and confronting. Ten years have changed Gemma and Ty dramatically, but they are still the complex and vividly depicted characters that they were in Stolen. This book gave both characters so much more depth. I particularly enjoyed the reversed power dynamics between Gemma and Ty. It was interesting to see Gemma transition from a vulnerable girl to someone who isn’t afraid to take matters into her own hands.

The theme of ‘release’ in this book is open to multiple interpretations. This recurring theme was an excellent exploration of trauma, morality, love and redemption. 

This book could technically be a standalone, but I think it is necessary to read Stolen beforehand (I swear that both Stolen and Release are brilliant reads). Without knowing the events of Stolen, it is difficult to appreciate the blurred lines of love and hate between Gemma and Ty.

I highly recommend this book for fans of Stolen and for those who enjoy unique thrillers. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5 stars)




*Potential spoiler?? Read on with caution! *

I absolutely loved this book, but I was disheartened by how much Ty’s character had changed. It was inevitable that Ty’s charming demeanour would perish during his time in prison, but I was still holding onto the image of Ty in Stolen when he was still young, handsome, and passionate. I appreciate how his character has evolved but I couldn’t help but mourn over younger Ty. Regardless, I still saw glimpses of his past self throughout this book, and it was truly heart-warming.
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At least as good as the prequel, this hooked me in and held me tight until the very last sentence. This is a nice easy read that really gives nothing away.
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This is a real thinker. I reread Stolen before picking this up (as much of a joy as it was way back when) and while that was helpful to do so I think release could stand alone without it. It was intrigued to read and getting that look at the longer term impacts the events of Stolen had on the two main characters was fascinating. I really couldn't put it down. 

Yes please to more adult sequels to YA books.
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Traumatic story but really well written.
The characters were interesting and this was a book I was reading late into the night.

First time I've tried this author and would absolutely buy another book.
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Really enjoyed this book, found it was unique to anything I previously read. This has captured my interest from the beginning and been a book I have struggled to put down.
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This w was well written with a gripping storyline, well developed characters and a dual timeline/setting. 
It was a gripping read that was unpredictable and twisty. I found myself being riveted by the first half more than the second but i stil found it enjoyable. I really liked it.
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I really enjoyed the first part of this, as we see how the trauma of being kidnapped has left Gemma ten years on.
Her obsession, her twisted way of looking at things.
I didnt so much enjoy the second part.
It felt like a slightly different type of book.
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