Author: Rachelle Dekker
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Some secrets can't stay hidden
Zoe Johnson has spent most of her life living in the shadows, never drawing attention to herself, never investing in people or places. But when a wide-eyed, bedraggled teenager with no memory walks into the diner where Zoe works, everything changes.
Against her better judgment, Zoe, who has been trying to outrun her own painful memories of the past, finds herself attempting to help a girl who doesn't seem to have any past at all. With little warning, they must follow the only sure thing they know: a woman hundreds of miles away, will either save them . . . or be the last person to see them alive.
Reviewer: Beverly Laude
"The only thing that will ever limit you is the belief that you can be limited."
Zoe Johnson is just trying to live her life without complications from her past. When a bedraggled teenage girl with no memory wanders into the diner where she works, Zoe feels like she has to help her. However, little does she know that helping Lucy could be the death of her.
Zoe and Lucy try to follow the mysterious instructions left by a woman named Olivia. Along the way, they encounter special government (maybe) agents who seem determined to take Lucy back or kill her. One agent, Tom Seely, has troubles of his own. Can Zoe trust him, or is he just another in a long line of authority figures with a secret agenda?
Lucy starts to recover her memories with the "help" of a doctor, but at what cost? As she relives the horrors of her past, will she be able to survive the torment, or will it destroy her? Lucy learns that she was born in a lab, along with other children. She is Number Nine and the only survivor of cruel experimentation designed to create a killing machine.
Seely can't decide which side he is on, maybe because of his growing feelings for Zoe. "Love is an unfortunate characteristic of humanity that can't be erased, even from the darkest of souls."
The book is full of action, and reading it is almost like watching a spy thriller. And reader beware: There are several graphic scenes of cruelty and torture that is not for the faint of heart.
This is a thought-provoking book that will make the reader examine their own life to see if things can change. Are we destined to repeat the same mistakes, or do we have the freedom to make things different? Must we continue to fail, or can we succeed? "You can always choose, so who do you want to be?"
Revell provided a complimentary copy through Interviews & Reviews. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Monica Huyser
Nine by Rachelle Dekker is one of the most suspenseful books that I have read in recent weeks.
Zoe Johnson is working as a waitress when a wide-eyed innocent-looking teenage girl wanders into the restaurant. Against her better judgment, Zoe helps Lucy, the lost-looking girl, and her whole life changes in many ways. Lucy seems to have no memories, and together they run from people trying to get to Lucy.
Nine was a fast-paced read full of intrigue and government secrets. The reader wonders just who Lucy is. I found the plot to be interesting, and it definitely held my attention. At the same time, I was a little surprised by the violence in this book, and some of it was disturbing for me to read. At the same time, it did seem to fit in with the plot and made sense as part of that plot. I wondered where we were going with the book throughout the first half. But in the second half, I could clearly see the redeeming qualities of the book. I also found that I could like one character by the end that I most definitely didn't like in the beginning. All of the characters were a bit vague to me to start with, and then I grew to appreciate their story as I continued to read Nine. I found it to be thought-provoking, as I believe Dekker intended it to be. This would be an especially interesting read for a book club who enjoys suspense type books to read and discuss. I also think the cover works well for Nine. It looks mysterious and like the girl is searching even though we can't see her face.
I received this book courtesy of Baker Publishing Group, Revell Division, through Interviews & Reviews. All opinions in this review are my own.
Reviewer: Marie Edwards
Very seldom does a book shake me to the core and make me wonder – "what did I just read?" – this was one of those books. It's meant in both a bad way and a good way. That's a first for me, though.
Admittedly, I am new to Rachelle Dekker's books, but … WOW!
As a fan of romance, romantic suspense, and even suspense – the premise of this book just drew me in. The haunting and mesmerizing cover made it that much more appealing. The plot? I definitely wanted this book!
Lost memories, on-the-run from federal agents, and super-secret mission plots are ones that I am timid on. But, there was something about this book that I just had to read it!
After reading it, I was particularly mixed on this book despite the high rating I'm giving it. I will state that I was also drawn in by the location where this starts – Sherman, Texas. As a child, I lived there and in/around the DFW Metroplex (born in Grand Prairie), so it was interesting to read about the city in a book.
The main characters are Zoe and Lucy, who are being chased by Agent Tom Seeley. Though the why mostly eludes the reader until about halfway in. There is little to no effort in the beginning to disguise Seeley and his mission. The reader is left trying to figure it all out. I spent most of the book wondering if he was good or bad. Or even if any of the FBI agents in this are good or bad. Are they even real or merely posers?
Although this is designed as a standalone read, I found some of Zoe's past is connected to the book, "The Girl Behind the Red Rope," by the author and her father, Ted Dekker. While it isn't mandatory to read that book first, it might help the reader gain insight into why Zoe is the way she is. But, by chapter seven, the reader will learn the truth about her past and her real identity.
This started off with a literal bang and held my attention after the first chapter. The short chapters made the story progress though I fought between putting it down and rushing right through this.
Dekker's vivid and descriptive writing puts the reader in the center of the action and brings the book to life. More so in certain scenes.
There are hints to a government plot involving the president and secretary of defense. And, I honestly would've liked to see that angle concluded. There were mentions of conspiracy theories, and to some readers, it could feel like there are/were some political overtones. I would certainly be interested in another novel where this is brought to light or sufficiently concluded.
There were also times I felt it was far too violent for this particular genre. The author could've excluded some of the graphic descriptions of certain killings and torture. And, there are a lot of people killed in this novel. For those readers who are sensitive to those matters, you might want to re-think this book. Anyone not comfortable with teenagers being depicted as agents of violence might want to skip this book as well.
It was hard to tell if any plot holes existed due to the writing and the action taking place. I had certain questions regarding the plot – what was the project's purpose, was it necessary to use kids, and when the project would be "unleashed." Some of the ways this story was plotted out could be confusing for some readers.
Told in two parts, the first part is told in the third person. When it shifts to the second part, it is said in the first person from Lucy's POV, and all other POVs are in the third person. Part two is where the drama comes to a head and plays out with many deviations, twists, and head-spinning turns.
Dekker's writing is definitely vivid and descriptive, so much so that I felt this could've easily been a Lifetime Movie or a Sci-Fi channel movie.
The title "Nine" refers to someone's past/current identity. It really isn't clear until about the end of part one as to what the Grantham project is. Although the purpose of the project is never truly revealed.
This book left me with so many emotions and questions that I still can't even wrap my head around this plot.
Not sure after a major betrayal between Lucy, Zoe, and Seeley that I would be able to ever trust the other party again. So, I did find that part a bit questionable.
This story will make some of us question our choices, the things we do, have done, and the motivation for doing them.
I alternately loved and loathed this book. I am still trying to decide where I lean more towards. Though it is worth the 4/5 stars, I am giving it.
While distributed by Revell, a Christian publishing group, there were hardly any references to God or religion. There are no bible quotes or any real religious talks. There does seem, at one point, to be an anti-religious comment in the book. This book has dark overtones, and at times it was almost terrifying. It seemed more like it was a psychological thriller than suspense. And, thrilling it was. It definitely wasn't what I was expecting, though.
Fans of the author and those who've read "The Girl Behind the Red Rope" will undoubtedly enjoy this book. I will give it up for the author – this is definitely a smart, complex, twisted, intense, riveting, and unpredictable read.
Thank you to Revell (a division of Baker Publishing Group) for providing a complimentary review copy through Interviews & Reviews. A positive review was not required, and all words are my own.
Reviewer: Jill Jones
Investing in a life has eternal benefits.
What happens when a teenager with no memory crosses paths with a young woman with trust issues? Against her better judgment, Zoe finds herself helping the lost teen and becomes embroiled in a secret so far-fetched that it could only be true.
The only thing the girl knows is that she must find a woman named Summer Wallace who lives in Corpus Christi. When government agents start chasing them, Zoe can't help wondering what's she's gotten herself into.
Like any Dekker story, the message is as profound as the story is mind-boggling. Sometimes investing in the lives of others costs us dearly but the benefits last a lifetime and into eternity. From start to finish, the excitement and suspense never end. Rachel Dekker is very talented and has a gift for storytelling.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, through Interviews and Reviews, as part of its Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Reviewer: Kara Linaburg
I didn’t know what to expect with this book but I was BLOWN away. It’s for sure on the paranormal side but I loved every minute!
I am not normally a fan of the whole bad-guy-good-guy bounce where you can’t tell….is he good or is he faking? It makes for a headache and cliche plot, but it totally worked for Nine. I didn’t know what to expect with who, and I found the closeness between Zoe and Lucy sweet and healing.
Also the idea of cloning is always so interesting, because people have different takes on this. I loved it here in Nine, because it explored the human mind in a way that made me think about things, like who are we? Are we more than what we’ve done? And do we decide who we are?
These themes in Nine were powerful and stayed with me long after the last page.
The fight scenes…
We must talk about the fight scenes for a minute! It was like something out of an action movie — very hip, very cool, and also very violent if I were honest.
The writing style…
A bit like Veronica Roth, I really enjoyed Dekker’s style. It drew me in from the very beginning, giving me a view as though I were watching a movie while in the same breath in the heads of the characters. I love that! I also loved the plot twists, the action, and in general everything about this book. It spoke of hope in the storm while being both gritty and raw.
I would recommend this to fans of dystopian, fantasy, paranormal, and anything in between. A book in the human condition but one that leaves you flipping through the pages ASAP because you are left hanging so many times!
This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group/Revell, and Interviews and Reviews.
Reviewer: Eva-Joy Schonhaar
Rachelle Dekker has crafted a compelling thriller that (thankfully) lacks many of the weird supernatural elements usually associated with the Dekker name/brand. I would say that the more fantastical elements found in Nine are more along the lines of the simulations in Divergent, instead of something from the demonic realm. So I appreciated that.
The character of Seeley was well-done. I can't say a lot more without giving away spoilers, but if you like dark, conflicted, 'yearning for the light, yet entrenched in the darkness' character, you'll probably love Seeley. Lucy was also an interesting character, with the pull between her human side and her 'trained weapon' side. I didn't like Zoe so much, mainly for two reasons. 1) I found her absolute devotion to Lucy a tad unbelievable. 2) She's twenty-four, but seems much older. Couldn't relate. :P
I didn't know that Nine was connected to one of Rachelle Dekker's previous books, The Girl Behind the Red Rope (with Ted Dekker). Again, I won't say much more for the sake of spoilers, but that connection was interesting. However, just so you're aware, I wouldn't say Nine is a straight-up sequel to Girl (so you could probably read the one without reading the other).
The plot itself was tense and twisty. Nine is definitely a win for fans of thrillers!
I received a copy of this book courtesy of Revell, through Interviews & Reviews, for my honest opinion.
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